November 10, 2022 Achiever Stories

West senior is one of Iowa’s top high school musicians at All-State Music Festival

Antonio Ferraro
West High School senior Antonio Ferraro is only one of two Sioux City Community School District students who have been selected to participate in the Iowa All State Bank, Choir, and Orchestra for the fourth year in a row. (Photo credit: Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal)

Sioux City — At this moment, much of Antonio Ferraro’s time is consumed by music.

Not only is the West High School senior getting ready for the annual Madrigal dinner and concert, he is also concerning himself over musical selections while applying to colleges.

More immediate for Ferraro is the Iowa High School Music Association’s 76th annual All State Music Festival, which takes place Nov. 17-19 at Iowa State University.

Ferraro, a violinist in West’s orchestra, is one of only two Sioux City Community School District students to be selected this year for All-State four years in a row.

It places Ferraro, as well as Michael Toben, a tuba player in North High School’s band, in the top 1% of all Iowa high school musicians.

“All-State is stressful because you have two days to learn new music before you play it in a concert,” Ferraro explained. “But All-State is so rewarding because you’ll be meeting and playing with the top high school musicians from around the state. If you’re serious about music, you need to try out for All-State,” he said.

Ferraro happens to be very serious when it comes to the violin.

Indeed, he’d like to attend the University of South Dakota, Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, or the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, to become a violin soloist.

Yet Ferraro freely admitted he didn’t begin as a musical prodigy.

“I didn’t pick up a violin until the fourth grade and didn’t receive private lessons until the seventh grade,” he said.

Even though Ferraro also sings and plays the piano, he said the violin was always special.

“The violin just made sense to me,” he remarked. “It was something that felt right for me.”

Read more of Antonio’s story by Earl Horlyk with the Sioux City Journal.