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Hudson -- The annual Cleveland State University Piano Area Recital last February was filled with college students that were concentrating on piano for their degree. Many of them were piano majors.
One performer, though, is a long way from heading off to college. That was Hudson's Anthony Yuhos, then a 10-year-old. Today, at age 11, he is a sixth-grader at Hudson Middle School.
Anthony played Mozart's "Rondo in D" and two pieces from Tchaikovsky's "Album for the Young."
"Anthony rose to the occasion," said his piano teacher, Dr. Daniel Barber. "He made an extremely positive impression. It was really something. It was a special request on my part to have him participate, and the head of our department was kind enough to let him play."
Barber said Anthony has "an exceptional ability, and he practices."
"Those are the most important things," he said. "A lot of kids play well, but the question is, do they practice every day? Anthony learns very quickly and is contentious about going to the piano. He has an aptitude and desire. When you put that together, you can make good progress."
Anthony's parents, Elaine and Christopher Yuhos, were at the CSU performance.
"It was quite a special moment," Elaine said.
She said Anthony first started playing piano at about age 8.
"We noticed he was interested," she said. "He played a lot without any musical training."
So his parents signed him up to take piano lessons from Barber, who teaches piano at CSU, East Woods Elementary School through the HCER program, Seton Catholic School, St. Sebastian Academy in Akron and Solon Center for the Arts.
"Dr. Barber is a wonderful teacher," Elaine said. "He is very accomplished himself."
Barber has been on the piano faculty at CSU since 1991, has played numerous Carnegie Hall recitals in New York and made his major orchestra debut in 1990 with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall.
Elaine said Anthony has "progressed very quickly" with Barber, who has been his piano teacher for nearly three years.
Barber is impressed by Anthony's steady improvement.
"Anthony is on track to become a very fine pianist," he said. "He has the qualities necessary to achieve that. I can tell you with assurance that Anthony has what it takes. How far he'll go is up to him."
Elaine said Anthony was in the school band and orchestra in fifth grade at East Woods Elementary School.
"But at the middle school, you can't be in both," she said. "He chose to stick with the cello in the orchestra. In the band, he played alto and tenor saxophone and clarinet."
Elaine believes their younger son was inspired musically by their older son, Hudson High School freshman Michael, 14, who plays string bass in the high school chamber orchestra and Akron Youth Symphony, trombone in the high school marching band and bass guitar at home.
"Michael is probably where Anthony got his love of music," she said. "Anthony has a good role model. A lot of music happens in our house. We're very pleased about that."
After acquiring a new piano, she said the living room now is called the music room, while the main TV is situated elsewhere.
The music room, of course, is the practice room. That's where you'll often find Anthony.