After years of filling Dwight Hall with melody, Secondary student Anton has played the finale of his Perkins' career.
The last member of the locally-famed Perkins Trio and Duo performed works of Beethoven, Bach, and Chopin to an enthusiastic audience of family, friends and teachers on a late February evening for his senior recital—his last official solo performance as a Perkins student before he graduates this spring.
The performance was a special event for the many people who have watched Anton, who is blind, grow during his years at Perkins, both academically and musically. Arnie Harris, one of Anton's music teachers, said one of the most special parts of the job was coaching Anton and alumni John Castillo and Andy Park when they first united six years ago as the Perkins Trio.
"Anton really started to blossom when he began playing music with his friends," said Harris. "It was the first time they had the chance to be creative with each other—to listen to each other and bounce ideas off each other."
The Trio's versatility between jazz, folk, rock and classical pieces brought them local acclaim, leading to invitations to perform on and off campus. When Park graduated in 2011, Anton and Castillo kept up the tradition under the name Perkins Duo.
February's recital featured a reunion of Anton and Castillo, who returned as a special guest to play alongside his friend. Park, who is currently taking courses at Washington State University, was unable to attend the event. The show also received some extra star power from former Perkins student Tony DeBlois, a well-known pianist from Massachusetts who is blind and autistic, and has performed for audiences around the globe.
Anton plays piano, violin, accordion and more, and has also been a member of Perkins' Secondary Chorus, handbell ensemble and string ensemble. Among his many influential teachers at Perkins, Adele Trytko introduced Anton to piano when he was a Lower School student, and she instructed him in the handbell ensemble for years. Teacher Vera Dumova taught Anton music braille and also helped in developing his performance skills. Recently, Harris said, Anton has taken to writing his own music, including a tango, which he performed at the recital.
Anton's parents have been tremendously supportive of their son's passion for music, said Harris. During the recital, Anton also paid tribute to his teachers at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he has been taking courses that have played a major role in his musical collaboration and growth, Harris added. Anton plans to continue his studies at Berklee after his graduation this spring.
"We'll definitely miss him," said Harris.