Antone Aquino (1929-2012)
Since retiring to the Grand Strand area nearly twenty years ago, Antone and Margaret Aquino have been wonderful friends of the arts in general and to the music at Trinity in particular.
They met as undergraduates at the Crane School of Music (State University of New York, Potsdam) and their partnership in music and life was fixed from that point forward. Antone was a gifted conductor as well as being a fine composer, singer, and organist. Margaret always has been–and continues to be–a fabulous pianist with a particular love for accompanying. Both are almost fanatical in their love of opera. For all their talents as performers, the Aquinos are, at their core, teachers. This was especially so of Antone—his years as music professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts were always spoken of with particular fondness and pride.
The cancer that Antone had dealt with for nearly two years had only begun to slow him down significantly in the last few months–and when death came to him on April 25, it came gently, with Margaret and their daughter Mary Margaret at his side. Antone’s funeral took place at St. Brendan’s Catholic Church in Shalotte on May 3, and his ashes are interred in a very beautiful prayer garden on the church grounds.
On Sunday, May 6 at the 11:00 service, I played an ‘Aria’ for organ that Antone had written about ten years ago. A manuscript of the piece was in a collection of scores that was at Trinity when I arrived. It is a lyrical and nostalgic piece, and I was glad to add it to my repertoire and to play it in Antone’s memory.
Listen to Antone Aquino’s ‘Aria’ here: