Tony’s music background started very early at the age of six, sitting at the piano and later, singing with his father in the local church choir. Unlike other ‘early-piano-lesson’ band members, Tony stayed with it, studying classical, pop and rock piano for the next sixteen years. In high school, he took up playing the French Horn for a few years. “The teacher said this is the hardest brass instrument to play. I said, then that’s the one I want.” Tony’s attraction to challenges continued on through the 3-year Mohawk College music program. In his final year he was asked to perform J.S. Bach's Piano Concerto in D minor – a grueling 25 minutes of piano aerobics – at McMaster University. “Oh yeah, that was something else,” he says. “I memorized the whole thing and was solo pianist with the McMaster University String Ensemble.”
After Mohawk College, it was off to York University to begin a Bachelor of Music degree. “I went to York with a buddy and we did one year. But it just became ‘too much school’ and we said ‘that’s enough, let’s go to Europe’. So off we went to change the world,” he says with a smile. As finances ran low, Tony eventually found himself as a house pianist in Zermatt, Switzerland – a gig he’d keep for about six months before returning home. Once home, he finished his music degree, this time at McMaster, then went back to Toronto to get his teaching certificate. Finally, Tony began a career with the Hamilton Board of Education as a music teacher – a position he continues to this day.
Tony first joined POWERHOUSE in 2001, then rejoined the band again in the summer of 2016 following a two-year break to complete and record his first CD, “Back By Popular Demand”. Tony has added excellent keyboard skills to the band as well as very strong lead vocals.
When not involved with something musical, he is an avid outdoorsman, bicycling, and regularly traveling through Ontario’s northland. He also enjoys attending and participating in sporting events – the picture to the right was taken on a day off from one of the band’s trips to Northern Michigan. More about Tony and sound clips from his new CD can be found on-line at www.tonyaquino.ca.