While many seniors have their sights set on Commencement, Jordan Mathews ’15 from Springfield, Ohio, is focused on the pinnacle performance of his college career: the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition Winners’ Recital April 5 at Carnegie Hall.
Mathews earned the chance for the piano recital of a lifetime when he won second place at the American Protégé competition last fall. While studying abroad in Costa Rica during the fall semester, his piano professor encouraged him to apply for the international contest.
A music major, concentrating in piano and organ, and a Spanish minor, Mathews notes that Wittenberg professors have been instrumental in his success.
“Dr. Durrenberger has taught me discipline, proper technique, performance etiquette, musicianship, and how to practice efficiently,” Mathews said of Associate Professor of Music Christopher Durrenberger.
“With him I have learned skills I never thought I’d need, like the anatomy and maintenance of the piano, and am using those assets to grow in my skill as a musician. He is wonderful to study with, and his enthusiasm and expectations are inspiring. He makes me want to be the best version of myself.”
Mathews also notes the support and motivation he’s received from faculty across campus, including Francis Fonza, visiting assistant professor of music and director of the Wittenberg Choir, and Ruth Hoff, associate professor of languages and chair of the department of foreign languages and literature. Working with such supportive professors has helped him prepare not only for his performance but for his next role as a private music instructor.
While he’s always had a passion for music, Mathews is grateful for the opportunities he’s had to expand his craft, training that has prepared him to take the stage along with other prestigious musicians.
“The Department of Music at Wittenberg has given me numerous opportunities to perform and accompany other students,” he said. “My education at Wittenberg has taught me that anything is possible.”