ROCKINGHAM — John Patrick Hutchinson gets to squeeze out another summer at Juilliard Piano camp in the land of the mouse and the orange in Orlando, Florida, June 25 thru July 8, 2023.
Hutchinson, aged 14, attended the piano camp last summer and feels another opportunity this year will allow for even more study and practice.
“It’s a really fun and immersive experience where you get to study, take lessons, master classes, attend workshops, make a lot of friends who have similar interests,” said John Patrick Hutchinson. “It’s a really good all-around experience.”
He has also been accepted to attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts piano camp in Interlochen, Michigan, from July 16 thru Aug. 8. According to the website, “at Interlochen you’ll develop your musicianship and performance skills working alongside our esteemed piano faculty.”
John Patrick Hutchinson said that he loves how much fun it is to play and how much joy it puts into people’s lives.
“I like to make other people happy by playing for them.”
Mother Sharon Hutchinson and Father John Hutchinson say that having music playing constantly throughout the house is fantastic.
“We have live piano music on demand,” said Sharon Hutchinson. “It’s nice and we don’t have to get a sphero because we have our own live spheros at home. It’s just fun to watch them play.”
John Patrick Hutchinson said that he usually practices between two and three hours a day.
“I work on various pieces and technical things,” said John Patrick Hutchinson. “Some pieces make you focus more on technique while some you’re preparing more on how to perform.”
According to his father John Hutchinson, John Patrick showed promise at a very young age.
“He started taking lessons when he was six,” said John Hutchinson, “and as soon as he started lessons, he just loved it. You didn’t have to ask him to practice. From the beginning he was working hard on learning to read music.”
At the beginning, he only practiced on a stand-alone key board, but after a few lessons his teacher encouraged his parents to purchase a piano.
“After one of his initial lessons, his teacher took us aside and said he really likes this and he’s picking up on this very quickly and said you need to get a piano,” said Sharon Hutchinson.
Both parents say that they feel it’s important to offer encouragement to their children.
“We think a parent’s job is to help a child to learn whatever it is they love to do and then to encourage them and help them along that road,” said John Hutchinson. “It just turned out that we discovered early that he loves to play piano.”
“So many younger people will stop an activity albeit piano or dance or get burned out on it,” said Sharon Hutchinson. “I think music can teach you not just a skill, but I think it can teach you how to work for success at that skill. Sometimes you have to move outside of your comfort box where everything is just easy and try something new that’s not so easy.”
John Patrick Hutchinson currently takes lessons at UNC-Greensboro with Dr. Annie Jeng. At the beginning he took lessons from John Tyson here in Rockingham and then with Dr. Valerie Cox in Moore County. He also takes organ lessons with Crystal Cohen at the Methodist and Baptist churches in Rockingham.
“The churches have been good enough to open up their doors to John Patrick so he can continue his organ lessons with Ms. Cohen,” said John Hutchinson.
Their other two children are talented as well. Alex, plays piano and formerly performed tap and hip hop and Daughter Evie, is a talented dancer.
“Alex likes building things, said Sharon Hutchinson, “and I would not be surprised that he would wind up as an engineer.”
John Patrick Hutchinson will graduate in three more years and is already making plans for his future.
“What I’ve really been looking at is majoring in collaborative piano,” said John Patrick Hutchinson. “Collaborative piano is where you play with other people in a band or orchestral setting with or without a vocalist.”
He is considering multiple college options.
“Julliard is a very specialized and competitive school where the acceptance rate is approximately 7%,” said John Patrick Hutchinson. “I’m also looking into the University of Michigan (at Ann Arbor) because my teacher attended there. Bowdoin College in Maine offers fantastic opportunities as well.”
Richmond County has two residents who are graduates of Juilliard.
According to John Hutchinson, “Dr. Reid Smith went to Juilliard for a master’s degree and taught there for a while and a gentleman in Hamlet named Joe Ford is also Julliard graduate.”
John Patrick is always practicing and performing to get better.
“In the fall he began playing for the Moore County Philharmonic Orchestra and is currently their full-time pianist,” said John Hutchinson.
John Patrick is having a great time entertaining the community.
“It’s a lot of fun to play and make all of this music,” said John Patrick Hutchinson, “when maybe fifty people come together and play their instruments and just make one big song.”
However, quiet days around the Hutchinson household are few and far between.
“Someone is always practicing something,” said John Patrick Hutchinson.
“We have two pianos now and that spreads out the piano work a bit,” said John Hutchinson. “There’s always someone on an instrument in the house…and it’s never me.”
Click here to read about John Patrick and Alex Hutchinson performing in Russia in 2019.
Click here to read about John Patrick being selected to perform in the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest.