James Anemone, a Lynbrook resident, won first-place at the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Young Artists Piano Competition on Nov. 5 after playing about an hour’s worth of music for a panel of judges.
Anemone, 21, a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, has participated in the competition annually for the past three years. The first year, he said, he did not place, and last year he was a runner-up. But this year, he and two other students from WCU earned first, second and third place at the competition.
“We were mainly concerned that our school was represented well,” Anemone said.
He and the other students learned under Dr. Igor Resnianski, who said that the students have worked hard for this achievement and that Anemone has been practicing since last summer.
“This is a reward for the students, and for me,” Resnianski said. “I was happy they were recognized. I’m glad that it worked out for James and the other two students.”
Anemone started his formal piano training at age 7, but, he said, he had been playing earlier than that. “My parents tell me I’ve been playing since I was 1 or 2,” he said, adding that when he was a baby in Rockville Centre, he would sneak out of his apartment and visit his neighbors who had a piano.
When he moved to Lynbrook, his new home had a piano in the basement, where he began to make his own songs until he started taking lessons at the East Rockaway Music Center. Since then, he has performed at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Roussel Performance Hall in New Orleans, and the Madeline Wing Adler Theatre in West Chester. He has won first prize in the New Orleans Piano Institute Solo Competition, first prize at the Triumph Music Festival, a silver medal with distinction in the Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
As a first-place winner at the Pennsylvania competition, Anemone will compete as a division finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artists Piano Competition, which will take place on Jan. 7 at West Virginia University. The winner of that event will compete in the national finals in Florida in March.
Anemone will also be holding a benefit concert at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, at 240 Lincoln Ave. in Rockville Centre, on Dec. 18 to support his former teacher Peter Ceglio, who needs home improvements for his wheelchair-bound son. Registration is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. Guests can register now at bit.ly/2zvV2T4.