Oak Grove Middle School student representing Mississippi in upcoming competition

Oak Grove middle schooler making strides in music world
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 12:05 AM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Ian Gonzalez is not your average 13-year-old.

As he delicately plays his cello, he creates a musical masterpiece.

He says his journey with the instrument started when he was barely a toddler.

“At first I started playing the violin when I was around like 2 years old,” Gonzalez said. “It was a little toy violin and I got bored with it.

“I saw a video of Yo-Yo Ma playing the cello, so I decided to start playing the cello.”

Gonzalez said he practices for at least two hours every day as he gears up to represent Mississippi in the Music Teachers National Association’s Southern Division Junior String Competition.

In this round of competition, Gonzalez will record a video and submit it for a chance to move on to the next round.

Gonzalez comes from a musically-inclined family. His mother is a music teacher in the Hattiesburg Public School District and his father is a music professor at William Carey University.

His father, Jorge Gonzalez, said he was proud of his son’s accomplishments.

“It’s been a great journey, just watching him grow and being able to compete with other musicians his age, play with musicians older than him and get to play alongside professional musicians in the United States,” Jorge Gonzalez said. “This has been a great journey for us, as parents, to see him grow musically and enjoy playing the instrument, playing music.”

Ian Gonzalez said he is looking forward to grow as a musician.

“Well, I think it’s kind of just like growing more and more every year, from teachers, from competitions, recitals concerts, all that stuff and getting more and more involved with music and all of that,” he said.

If Ian Gonzalez makes it past the current round of competition, he will go on to the MTNA National Competition.

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