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School performs West Valley teen’s Symphony No. 1

SHARE School performs West Valley teen’s Symphony No. 1

WEST VALLEY CITY — A young musician from Granger High School is making a name for himself one note at a time.

Jarom Oliphant, 15, wrote a four-movement symphony titled “The Symphony of Life." He started writing it at the beginning of eighth grade, when he was 13, and finished before the end of the school year.

Wednesday night, Oliphant, along with the school's concert band, concert orchestra and percussion ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony.

Oliphant is not only good on the flute, he's a music master. He approached his teacher Christopher Moore with the work nearly a year ago.

“Jarom is a quiet guy, and he just came up to me one day and said, 'By the way I've written a symphony.' I was amazed.”

Moore has been teaching for 19 years and says in that time he's never had a student quite like this.

“I was worried that I would see a lot of problems that needed to be fixed, and there really weren't any,” Moore said. “He has exhibited an extraordinary amount of knowledge for one so young.”

The teen says he was inspired by trials in his life. He said he’s always struggled with behavioral issues and was diagnosed with autism when he was in the sixth grade. He turned to music as a way to express himself.

“When I was in the seventh grade I was going through a few things, and I'm really bad at social things and sharing my feelings and everything,” Oliphant said. “Music was an outlet for that, and so I used that to its fullest potential.”

He said he drew inspiration from film composers like John Williams and classical composers from Beethoven and Mozart as well as lesser-known composers.

He said music and art, in general, are all about emotions, and so expressing emotion through it was really easy.

“You have struggles and then you fix them and then it’s resolved,” Oliphant said. Just like a symphony's grand finale.

Oliphant has two more years at Granger. He hopes to go to the University of Utah School of Music to study composition and eventually get a Ph.D. in composition.

“He's titled this Symphony No. 1, and I think for a good reason,” Moore said. “I suspect there will be many more.”

Contributing: Ashley Moser