MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) --Barry Zhang loves taking the stage and bringing audiences to their feet. He truly loves the art of performing.
"I just like being on stage with a lot of people and then afterwards then all clap and I get up and bow and it’s just exciting for me," he told 13 News.
Barry is only 13 years old- a seventh grader at Anthony Middle School in Manhattan- and he’s already playing music performed by concert pianists. His skills have left even his teachers stunned and in awe.
"Most piano students I know who are college music majors could pass a college recital with some of the music that he plays and he’s only 13. He’s in the 7th grade. I’ve lived in the Manhattan area for 35 years and from the time he was little, I had never seen a student whose talent matched his," said one of the his teachers, Nancy Blockcolsky.
Barry was born in China and his family moved to the United States in 2003. He started playing the piano seven years ago and has exploded onto the scene, wowing in concerts and winning local, state and regional competitions.
Barry's talent is natural and the result of hard work. The middle school student typically practices two hours a day during the week and four hours a day on weekends. His practices run longer when he is preparing for a concert or competition.
"Everything is focused on piano and has to work around that. So I’m usually very busy with homework and school and piano. It’s easier for me to play piano than a lot of other things because it just comes to me better than other things like math or language arts or other subjects... There’s a big chance I’ll be doing this long term because it comes easily to me. I think I could be successful at it," Barry said.
His teachers think Barry will continue to captivate crowds for years to come.
"I think he could definitely make a living playing piano. I look forward to the day that he’s a concert pianist someplace and some of the people who get to hear him play in this area will say they remember seeing him perform when he was just a teenager," Blockcolsky.added.
Barry will perform a piano solo on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7 PM with the Community Chamber Orchestra in Morganville, KS. Tickets are $6 a person or $15 per family. The concert will be held at the Old Morganville School at 307 Main St. More information can be found at www.kansasmusic.net.