Friday, March 5, 2010
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
After only three years playing the piano, Coniglio placed third at the 16th annual Pompano Beach Piano Competition held Feb. 27, just four months after winning second place at Florida’s MTNA Junior Performance Piano Competition, sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association and held in October 2009.
“I am honored to have played Chopin’s Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 69, No. 1 for the Pompano Beach Piano Competition, just two days before Chopin’s 200th birthday celebration,” said Anthony. “Three of my pieces for the MTNA competition were also by Chopin. Ever since I attended my first concert hosted by The Chopin Foundation, I was so inspired to play and learn more about classical music and Chopin’s romantic style.”
At age 9, Coniglio was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and five months later, he turned to playing the piano, which has helped him work through the dramatic changes that he had to make learning to live with this condition.
“I really don’t believe that I would have started to play the piano, or put as much time and energy into my playing, if it wasn’t for my initial anger and frustration from having Type 1 diabetes,” he said. “Playing the piano gave me an outlet to express my feelings. Chopin’s music was very therapeutic for me.”
When it became clear that Anthony was capable of playing the piano very well, his parents enrolled him in Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory School of Music.
“I am not into sports, so music became my passion,” Anthony said.
He added that he used to practice all the time in order to work out his frustrations with diabetes but now “I practice all the time so that I can learn and improve. I am especially motivated by my desire to impress my outstanding teachers at Lynn each week.”
“After I was diagnosed, I used to always think about myself being a diabetic, and it would consume me; but now I think of myself more as a pianist,” Anthony said. “I can’t believe how much I have grown and changed since I started at Lynn last fall. Chopin’s music and playing the piano did something to me I can’t describe. It was life changing and helped heal me emotionally. I consider it all a miracle.”