LIMA — For soon-to-be 18-year-old Jase Hickman, his passion for music came naturally.
He didn’t start out with formal training or classes. It was simple curiousity.
“I believe that music has always been a way for me to connect through my feelings,” he said. “I have never been an open person when it comes to that. … I bottle up my emotions and (music) makes it easy for me to release it, in a way.”
When younger, his inability to read music didn’t stop him from tinkering with an antique out-of-tune piano his mom rescued from the street. It inspired him to become familiar with the keys and their sounds, learning to play by ear from songs he heard on the radio.
His ability to sing, however, was discovered in his early days at school and church. The passion revitalized itself in high school after Hickman joined a number of musical organizations including the Scarlet and Gray show choir, the Spartanaires and the Spartones.
Hickman said his range is wide, from baritone to mezzo-soprano. His favorite songs to sing include John Legend’s “All of Me,” to Beyonce’s “Listen.”
Hickman’s talent and passion is what led him to be one of two students from Ohio to be selected to perform with the National Honors Choir in Salt Lake City earlier this month. Nationally, about 345 students were selected for the group, meaning about 10 percent of students who audition are accepted to join the national choir.
“It was absolutely mind blowing,” Hickman said.
Of course, success would’ve been much more difficult to reach if it weren’t for the support of his family, especially his grandparents, and the support of Lima Senior, he said.
“It’s great to have that kind of motivation, especially though your school,” he said. “They give me so much support and go above and beyond … it’s such a large part of why I am who I am.
“It brought a lot of motivation for me to go out and do better. I’ve had a lot of downs in my life in the past few years, and I just want nothing but positivity and success from here on out.”