OCEAN CITY — Pianist Scott Nuss, an eighth-grader at Ocean City Intermediate School and an admirer of Billy Joel, will present a new song about the resort at a free concert 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Ave.
He calls the song the “Ocean City NJ Theme,” and in it he outlines his favorite aspects of the seaside community. He said he hopes to see the song adopted as the resort's official song, or bought by the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce to use in promotions.
“I don’t exactly remember why I started to write it,” Nuss said in a recent phone interview. “It took me about a month to write it. I included everything that I love about Ocean City.”
Nuss, who is 13, began playing piano when he was 4, while his older brother Grant was taking lessons. Grant no longer studies music — he loves to invent and build things, his younger brother said — but Scott stayed with the instrument.
He continues to take lessons from Daniel Weiser, who holds a doctorate in piano from Peabody University. Nuss' mother, Jill, said he has had several piano teachers already, but he advanced beyond the teacher.
She described her son as humble, and said he hadn’t told the other kids at school that he even played piano until he and Weiser presented a concert in Ocean City in April to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Intermediate School.
Nuss and Weiser played two grand pianos on stage, covering a number of Billy Joel songs. Nuss also plays harmonica for his rendition of the hit “Piano Man.”
The fundraiser was a big success, according to Nuss' mother, who said Billy Joel is one of his favorite performers. Plans are to present another fundraiser sometime in the spring.
The family lived in Maryland and bought a beach house in Ocean City in February, Jill Nuss said, with plans to use it for summer vacations.
But after spending last summer in Ocean City, they decided to move to town full time, she said. She left her job, and her husband, Brad Nuss, works from home several days a week, with one day in the office in Washington, D.C., so the move was workable on his end. They plan to sell their house in Maryland.
Jill Nuss cited the Ocean City school system as a big part of the motivation for the move.
Scott Nuss will play an electric piano at the library concert because it would be impractical to get a grand piano for the event. The concert is set to take place in the Christopher Maloney Room of the library.
Nuss said he loves living in Ocean City, and tried in the theme song to show his routine, waking up and heading to the boardwalk each morning.
“In the song, I talk about how it’s my happy place, and how everybody should come and see Ocean City,” he said.