Home Lifestyle Rockingham pianist to attend summer program at Julliard

Rockingham pianist to attend summer program at Julliard

John Patrick Hutchinson, 13, performs during an open mic night at the Speckled Paw in September 2021.
William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — One young, local piano player has been accepted into a summer program at one of the world’s leading music schools.

John Patrick Hutchinson will spend two weeks at Juilliard’s Summer Youth Program in Orlando, Florida, majoring in piano.

The Juilliard School, in New York City, was founded in 1905 and is a private institution that specializes in the performing arts.

“The school’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors, composers, choreographers, and playwrights from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens,” according to the institution’s website.

Hutchinson is the son of Mayor John Hutchinson and Sharon Hutchinson.

His mother posted a photo of him with his acceptance letter earlier this week, saying that the family would miss him while he’s away, “but so excited for him too!”

“Often you don’t see the immediate rewards of your work,” Hutchinson told the RO. “For example, some of my pieces are still works in progress (and I’ve been working on them for a year). 

“I’m learning to be satisfied with the smaller rewards along the way, and to be patient with my progress towards the bigger ones,” he continued. “Having said that, this certainly counts as one of the bigger rewards, and I am excited for the opportunity to travel and be a part of Juilliard’s summer program.”


The 13-year-old and his two siblings are homeschooled.

For entry into the program, Hutchinson had to submit a five-minute video with an introduction and explaining an experience in the arts that left an impact.

“One moment in my piano journey that stood out to me was a couple of years ago when we were at Disney World,” he says in the video. “We were walking down Main Street and we saw someone performing ragtime music live. And what I found interesting about that performance was how they can completely change the style of the original classic Disney songs, and just how versatile of an instrument the piano is.”

Hutchinson said that was the main reason he wanted to play the piano.

Also in the video, Hutchinson played “Prelude No. 3” by George Gershwin and Mozart’s “Sonata No. 5 in G Major.”

Last year, Hutchinson was selected as a finalist to perform in the junior division of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, which was virtual. He also received a merit scholarship to attend the two-week Palmetto International Piano Festival this July at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina.

In 2019, he and his younger brother, Alex, performed at the International Piano in the Palace Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

(Note: This story was edited to clarify that the program would be in Orlando, Florida. 7:19 p.m. 4-29-22.)


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.