This young man’s musical abilities are something to be reckoned with!
Pyerce Oates is…a 14 year old musician who loves playing gospel, classical, show tunes, big band arrangements and jazz music. He is a member of Mt. Tabor A.M.E. Zion Church in Avondale, PA and has been one of the church pianists and vocalists since the age of 4. He is a Junior Usher, a member of the Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of Chester County, a Junior Missionary, a pianist for the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, and a member of the Northern Delaware Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Pyerce presently attends Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, DE as an 8th grader, with a major in Piano.
Pyerce has been influenced by and influences many established musicians and vocalist through all genres of music. This past summer, 2012, he performed his original jazz arrangement, “The History of Black, Brown & Beige”, at the Tony Williams and the Clifford Brown Jazz Festivals. He has won many awards including the “Cliff Note Award 2012” presented by Mayor Baker of Wilmington, DE, “2012 Young Original Young Composer Award” presented by the Christiana Cultural Arts Center, “Youth Community Service Award” from the Delaware NAACP and the Lucky Ladies of Oxford, PA, along with over 50 individual “Outstanding” solo and accompanist awards.
He has recorded four CDs, “Humble Beginnings(his arrangements of)”, “Still Humble”, “A Dad Is Like A General” and his most recent, “Prayer & Meditation(his arrangements of)”. He loves playing and singing the old gospel hymns of Zion, cooking and baking. His specialties are pumpkin pie, fried chicken and barbecue sauce. “To God be the glory for the things he has done.” Pyerce likes to direct, compose, lead, organize, record, perform, mentor and teach music.
How old were you when you knew this was your calling and what you were going to do for the rest of your life?
I started tinkering with the keyboard at age 2. I was 4 years old when I started playing the piano “by ear” and I knew then that I wanted to play music, be a magnificent musician and take the world by storm with my gifts of music. Playing the piano came naturally to me. I got so excited with the different sounds of piano keys and then I started putting patterns together and I started to hear such beautiful sounds. I started tinkering with the drums, violin, and electric guitar before the age of 6. I taught myself by watching other people and became very good. At age 7 after taking piano lessons from Ms. Crystal Simms, I learned to play classical compositions and read music. I have the ability to watch someone play on a piano then play the same song with very few mistakes.
What advice do you have for the young ladies (teens to young adult age) who are growing up in today’s world with so much influence in music that is not always supportive of their best interests? What advice would you give to the young men?
For the young ladies, dream. Stay focused on your dream. Let people know your dream. Find experiences to help you gain a clearer understanding of the qualifications and background skills you will need to be successful. For the young men, study and practice. Keep positive people who share a similar dream in your social circle. Don’t let anyone diminish your dream. Step outside your box to achieve your dream and you will find me!
What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
It was very musical around the house. My dad had band practice every weekend and worked on music during the week. We always had family and friends around socializing, eating and barbecuing. My mom liked to entertain for special events and there were a lot of them especially for me. Everything I accomplished, my mom celebrated. She would bring home gifts and make a big deal out of everything; she was and is my #1 supporter and motivator. My dad always encouraged me to practice, get my school work done, do my chores and be humble. He always tells me a task, shows me the task and then asks if there are any questions. He has always tried to instill values and traits his father taught him.
I have 6 aunts and when I was 8 I had a grandmother and a great grandmother on my mom and dad’s sides of the family. That was beautiful. Out of all of my friends I was the only one with 4 grandparents. Every activity I am in, my grandmothers, aunts and uncle show up to support me. My mom made and makes life fun. She continues to transport me to different opportunities in Delaware, Pennsylvania. and Maryland. Mom always had and has me in some activity. She used to say, “when I was growing up Mom Mom and Pop Pop had me and your aunts in community and school activities regularly and I am grateful for those experiences and I want you to have all of the positive experiences you can and meet different people to grow your social network while you are young.” Everyone in my family greets and departs with a hug and a kiss. My family laughs a lot and enjoys life even through pit falls and sorrow. We have all been taught to be faithful, pray, do unto others as you would want others to do unto you, and to know and understand everyone has a purpose and every family should have a plan.