Choir director Eric Anthony sings “so long, farewell” to his time as an educator

Directing+the+girls+Chamber+Choir+through+their+daily+vocal+warm+ups%2C+choir+director+Eric+Anthony+prepares+the+students+for+the+day%E2%80%99s+rehearsal.+Anthony+has+been+teaching+in+the+music+department+since+2006.+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m+thankful+that+I%E2%80%99m+ending+my+career+in+a+school+that+I+really+like+a+lot%2C%E2%80%9D+Anthony+said.+%E2%80%9CI+was+blessed+to+come+to+this+place+and+am+blessed+to+be+finishing+my+career+in+a+place+that+I+feel+safe+and+the+kids+feel+safe.+We+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+be+the+best+athletes%2C+we+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+be+the+best+musicians%2C+but+we+put+out+a+good+product+and+we%E2%80%99re+happy+with+it.+We+know+who+we+are.%E2%80%9D
Back to Article
Back to Article

Choir director Eric Anthony sings “so long, farewell” to his time as an educator

Directing the girls Chamber Choir through their daily vocal warm ups, choir director Eric Anthony prepares the students for the day’s rehearsal. Anthony has been teaching in the music department since 2006. “I’m thankful that I’m ending my career in a school that I really like a lot,” Anthony said. “I was blessed to come to this place and am blessed to be finishing my career in a place that I feel safe and the kids feel safe. We don’t have to be the best athletes, we don’t have to be the best musicians, but we put out a good product and we’re happy with it. We know who we are.”

Directing the girls Chamber Choir through their daily vocal warm ups, choir director Eric Anthony prepares the students for the day’s rehearsal. Anthony has been teaching in the music department since 2006. “I’m thankful that I’m ending my career in a school that I really like a lot,” Anthony said. “I was blessed to come to this place and am blessed to be finishing my career in a place that I feel safe and the kids feel safe. We don’t have to be the best athletes, we don’t have to be the best musicians, but we put out a good product and we’re happy with it. We know who we are.”

Beatrice Antonenko

Directing the girls Chamber Choir through their daily vocal warm ups, choir director Eric Anthony prepares the students for the day’s rehearsal. Anthony has been teaching in the music department since 2006. “I’m thankful that I’m ending my career in a school that I really like a lot,” Anthony said. “I was blessed to come to this place and am blessed to be finishing my career in a place that I feel safe and the kids feel safe. We don’t have to be the best athletes, we don’t have to be the best musicians, but we put out a good product and we’re happy with it. We know who we are.”

Beatrice Antonenko

Beatrice Antonenko

Directing the girls Chamber Choir through their daily vocal warm ups, choir director Eric Anthony prepares the students for the day’s rehearsal. Anthony has been teaching in the music department since 2006. “I’m thankful that I’m ending my career in a school that I really like a lot,” Anthony said. “I was blessed to come to this place and am blessed to be finishing my career in a place that I feel safe and the kids feel safe. We don’t have to be the best athletes, we don’t have to be the best musicians, but we put out a good product and we’re happy with it. We know who we are.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After 13 years of dedicated service to the music department, choir director Eric Anthony is retiring from his career as an educator.

While Anthony was hired primarily as a choir director, he found great enjoyment in his part-time responsibilities as a counselor for underclassmen boys adjusting to life in high school.

“We talked about being what we called a ‘West kid,’ and what a West kid looks like and how a West kid acts,” Anthony said. “That was a great job. I’d love to do that job again because there was a little bit of teaching, which I do, but it was also just being with kids in a very different way, a way that affected them not academically, but helped them to grow up and be really good people.”

Throughout his career, Anthony has experienced the challenges of a high school educator, but his memories and experiences make up for the imperfections.

“I don’t like it every day, just like everyone, I’m human, but I’m always psyched about honors ceremonies. It’s a way for our school to recognize kids who have done really well and worked really hard to get there,” Anthony said. “They’re recognized by teachers and their peers. When you grow up, you want to be recognized for what you do and you want people to pay attention to your hard work. It doesn’t happen so much for kids, for people. There are a lot of great people in this world, but they aren’t recognized like that.”

In addition to honors ceremonies, the memory that stands out the most to Anthony is the unity he witnessed in the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse.

What I hope for the music program is that it doesn’t lose that sense of excellence that we have always had. We work hard and put out a good product and I’m hoping that will always be the case.”

— choir director Eric Anthony

“That was West High at it’s best. Everyone was on the field, kids were playing as if they were in the schoolyard. There were kids who were doing scientific things and kids who were playing,” Anthony said. “It was like West had all of a sudden become a utopia. We all had the funny glasses, it is really a very good memory. That day we all gathered on the field and everyone was doing their own thing. I looked at all of it and I thought to myself ‘I’ve died and I’ve woken up in Nirvana.’ Usually, my favorite things are when we meet as a whole school and we show who we are, we show our best. I’m a ‘let’s get together and do something spectacular’ guy. It was a great afternoon and a great day.”

Because his busy schedule as a teacher did not allow him the time, Anthony hopes to use his retirement to return to his hobby of traveling.

“I love to travel because I love seeing different cultures and experiencing different things,” Anthony said. “I’ve seen Europe several times, but there are parts of Europe I haven’t gotten to yet. I’d like to get to Italy, the five small towns on the Italian Riviera. I’ve been to Paris several times, but now I’d like to see southern France where things tend to be artsy fartsy. I want to see Africa and go back to Brazil, but the only problem is I’m getting to the age where I want to, but my traveling companions are hesitant, I have to pick wisely.”

Having dedicated much of his time to the choir, Anthony has high hopes for the future of the music department after his retirement.

“We’ve always had a legacy and a reputation. I know that things change, and they should, but I don’t want West to lose its legacy of excellence. The choir program has always been fabulous because of the two ladies who started it, that was Jerry Galloway, who I only knew by reputation because she died very young, and Kay Wunder, who was here forever and tells the joke that she came with the building,” Anthony said. “They established a program that made music live in Parkway. What I hope for the music program is that it doesn’t lose that sense of excellence that we have always had. We work hard and put out a good product and I’m hoping that will always be the case.”

Reflecting on his career, Anthony feels that the most rewarding part of teaching was his time spent with his students.

“I’m going to miss watching kids every day say, ‘oh, I did it. I can do it.’ That is why I teach, to see kids start out saying, ‘I can’t do it,’ and then all of a sudden say ‘I can do this,’ and not only can they do it, but they do it so much better than anybody else,” Anthony said. “That’s what I’ll miss, is watching kids discover what they can do.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email