GREENVILLE - Jered Ross, 18, is a busy guy. He’s a senior at Greenville High School, where he is involved with the academic team, as well as being in advanced placement and advanced college project courses.
Ross carries over a 4.0 GPA, putting him in the top 20 of his class. But that’s not all, this busy senior is also a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and performs with Tommy Renfro, local Christian music artist.
Ross can play piano, drums, cello, bass guitar and the trombone, he said, and was in choir for the first three years of high school, but this year he was just too busy. Ross comes by his talents naturally, he shared, as his parents, John and Karen Ross, both sing and his sister, Jené, plays viola.
“I get a lot of my musicality from my parents,” Ross commented. “Dad was a Wavaire and in the band. Mom sang at churches and weddings. My sister, Jené, is two years older than me, and she plays voila. That’s actually how I got started, I wanted to do what my sister did, I thought it was cool.”
Music is a big part of his life, Ross commented, but after he finishes high school this year, he said he’d like to go on to study mathematics, with a minor in music, at The Ohio State University, with Miami University in Oxford as his second option.
“There’s some relationship between math and music; it’s pretty common for musicians to have an aptitude for math,” Ross remarked. “I’ve always had a fascination with numbers and patterns. It’s kind of my dream to get paid to sit around and do math. So what I’d really like is to become a math professor, and then play with a local orchestra, like the Dayton Philharmonic, on the side.”
By being a part of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Ross said he is exposed to strong classical pieces, and many young adults don’t get exposure to that style and intensity until later in life, but for him it has been a great opportunity. Along with the hand full of performances with the DPYO, Ross is the full-time bassist/cellist for Tommy Renfro, a Christian artist from New Madison.
Ross has been working with Renfro for over two years now, and says he’s only missed a couple of shows. Working with Renfro, and getting a chance to worship God, has been another great experience for this young man, he said.
“I feel more equipped to deal with daily life, and life at school,” Ross said. “I don’t think I’d necessarily say I’m stronger than others, but I have a grasp on what’s good for me, and what helps me.”
Ross comes from a strong Christian family, he said, and he really enjoys the chance to reach out to others his age when he plays with Renfro.
“I really enjoy going into the community and communicating with people on a personal level,” Ross remarked. “It’s more spiritual - like we’re performing to God, but we’re leading others who want to worship as well.”
When asked what goes through his head when he gets on stage, he said “Well, I just hope I don’t mess up.”
“It’s 95 percent a very enjoyable thing; I feel like I’m home,” Ross commented. “It’s what I do, it’s me. It’s a good, healthy expression of my feelings, and a good way to connect with God, and with other people, through the emotion of the music.”