Everyone dreams of finding a passion that inspires them to roll out of the comfort of their warm, inviting beds, and pursue their dreams. If lucky, they may discover their passion in early adulthood. When Anthony thought about his passions, he realized he had found his way back in the third grade.
Music is the light of Anthony’s life. He began playing the piano in third grade and quickly picked up the violin, with the guitar following behind. In eighth grade, Anthony plunged into musical composition and has now written over fifty guitar pieces, arranged seven pop songs for orchestras, and composed five of his own pieces for orchestras, chamber ensembles, and the piano. However, his music was forever influenced when he discovered the YouTube sensation, “The Piano Guys.”
“I have become infatuated with everything that they do,” Anthony shared. “When I first began following The Piano Guys, I saw something completely different; jaw-dropping really.”
For those unfamiliar with The Piano Guys, the group consists of a pianist, a cellist, and a team of producers, videographers, and songwriters that combine popular songs with classical pieces. Anthony’s favorite piece is entitled “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets,” which combines OneRepublic’s “Secrets” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
“The way they mix the two pieces together is so perfect, it almost makes me believe that perfection is a tangible thing,” Anthony said. This was when his own pop-classical crossover compositions took off, and the desire to meet The Piano Guys materialized.
The wish started when a limousine picked up Anthony, his parents, and his best friend and took them to the Granada Theater, where The Piano Guys would be performing. The band manager met them warmly and took them into the final sound check.
No one expected the band to drop everything when they arrived, but that is exactly what they did as the family entered the room. “Oh, is this Anthony? It must be – hi, Anthony!” they exclaimed, and at once came to shake hands and introduce themselves. Anthony was astonished at the attention they paid him throughout their rehearsal. Having a behind-the-scenes glimpse into The Piano Guys’ rehearsal was spectacular, but the experience did not stop with that. The Piano Guys were constantly acknowledging Anthony throughout the night, even asking for his opinion on which songs to play during the concert!
As evening approached, no one could be torn away for dinner. The family instead ordered in, which gave Anthony more time to talk with the band. They were gracious, warm, and extremely friendly – he was floating on cloud nine.
When he told The Piano Guys about his own arrangements, they were extremely touched by what their music had inspired. They asked Anthony to play his favorite composition, “Counting Stars in the Moonlight,” which combines “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic and Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” As he began tinkering away on the piano, the members of band gathered around and drummed on every available surface, their improvised rhythms complementing Anthony’s melody perfectly as they all lost themselves in the music. It was the highlight of the evening!
This all occurred even before the concert began. As the concert started and the venue filled up, The Piano Guys did not stop acknowledging Anthony, singling him out in the audience. “We’d like to dedicate this next song to someone very special,” they said during the show. “This is for Anthony – and the Make-A-Wish® Foundation that brought him here tonight.” And what followed was the most majestic, uplifting, beautiful song.
"This is beyond my greatest dreams," Anthony whispered.
Their goodbyes were tearful and emotional, but it only attested to the beauty that had transpired that day. Anthony left the venue incredibly touched and fulfilled. “I don't think he's going to sleep for days!” Anthony’s mom exclaimed.