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This Week's Spotlight: Anthony Tantillo

Talented student shining bright

Age: 17

School: Albertus Magnus High School

Anthony will be entering his senior year at Albertus this fall, but already has an extensive list of accomplishments. 

Over the past three years he has played on the lacrosse, football and baseball team at Albertus.  In addition to being athletic he is quite talented on the stage.

His success in music and drama is impressive. He has been active in the fall plays and spring musicals, often playing the lead role. In fact, sophomore and junior year he was the lead in all four productions. Freshman year he had the supporting role.

  • Freshman Year he was in Guys and Dolls and played the supporting role of Benny Southstreet.
  • Sophomore Year he was in Death by Dessert and played Busboy the romantic lead, and Michael Feldman the lead in Back to the '80s. 
  • Junior Year he was the lead Bert Jefferson in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Albert Peterson, the lead, in  Bye Bye Birdie. 
  • Last summer he joined the Summercliff Players' 2010 production of Urinetown: The Musical. He played Bobby Strong, the lead role.

"The Summercliff Players is a summer theatre group based in the town of Briarcliff, New York.  My school music teacher, Mrs. Nadia Rizzo, is the musical director for the group, and she suggested that I audition for a part in last year's production.  The experience exposed me to new people with similar interests, and I grew vocally and socially from taking part in their production."

"My favorite play was definitely Urinetown.  Not only was it musically intricate and challenging, but it was also a thought-provoking script.  It contained many allusions to other musicals as well as intellectual references to philosophers.  Aside from that, the role of Bobby Strong was a blast to play, especially considering how dynamic the character is throughout the course of the play," said Anthony Tantillo.

Anthony is musically inclined as well. He is a member of Veritas, which is Honor Choir.  

"One annual event for our group is a naturalization ceremony, where we perform patriotic songs to honor newly-welcomed U.S. immigrants. The event is extremely moving, as many immigrants treasure every moment of the ceremony."

This group is also quite competitive. They won first place in "Music in the Park" competition at Hershey Park his sophomore and junior years. In order to pay for the trip the students fundraise themselves.  

"For the past two years, our school's honor choir Veritas competed in the High School Mixed Chorus division of the "Music in the Parks" festival at Hershey Park.  In our first year, we received a rating of "Superior," which is the highest rating, and in our second year we were rated at "Excellent," the second highest rating.  Both years we won first place in our division, and the entire experience was both valuable and fun," said Anthony.

He is a member of the Albertus Magnus Pep Band and plays Tenor Saxophone. He is in the school Chorus and part of "Phenomenon," an a capella group.

This summer he is working as an unpaid intern for the Rockland Conservatory of Music. 

"Basically, my job is to make their transition from their current Spring Valley location to their new Pearl River location as smooth as possible. That includes organizing records and books, which is great exposure to some incredible music and information.  My personal favorite record was A Unique Jazz Vocal Treatment of Johann Sebastian Bach," said Anthony.

He is also the coordinating member of Albertus' chapter of Tri-M Music Honors Society and has been involved in the Student Council for three years.

Naturally someone with such talent has the brains to go with it. He has already taken three AP courses his junior year and will take four AP courses this coming year: AP Chemistry, AP Calculus AB, AP European History, and AP English Literature and Composition.

He is a member of Albertus' 2010 team for MSG Varsity's The Challenge. He has been a peer tutor at school sophomore and junior years. And this summer he is working as a private tutor.

Anthony is also a Student Ambassador for Albertus. This entails traveling to parochial schools in Rockland where he shares his experience with the children. He also is a speaker at the open houses and is currently organizing the freshman orientation for the incoming class. 

In his spare time Anthony does volunteer work at St. Margaret School and parish in Pearl River.

"I donate my time to the annual St. Patrick's Day party for the parish, doing everything from setting up tables to helping prepare food and cleaning up.  I have also worked at food drives, bringing the collected food to the Catholic Center in Spring Valley."

Anthony's success comes from hard work, dedication and drive. However, he humbly acknowledges that Albertus and it's faculty have been instrumental in his success.

"My English teacher is Mrs. Carolyn Lastowski and my music teacher is Mrs. Nadia Rizzo.  They were both extremely helpful as educators and mentors during the past year, and I would not have succeeded in their respective areas of study without their help and support."

What an accomplished, bright and extremely well-rounded young man. Well done Anthony. Keep up the good work.

Catherine Baker July 13, 2011 at 04:22 PM
It sounds like Anthony has a great future in music and theater!!! We will be watching his career. We would not have known about his accomplishments without your reporting. Thanks.,

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