He’s been called a prodigy,
But 14-year-old Parker Wilkson of Land O' Lakes is just like any other teen when it comes to summer vacation:
“Went to a few parties and hung out with friends. Had a couple of girls stomp on my heart too. You ever notice the ones you like never like you; and the ones that like you ... well you can't seem to figure that out either," Parker wrote in an email.
Well, not exactly like any other teen. When he wasn’t getting his heart broken, Parker spent most of his time immersed in several modern rock projects and training at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa, he said.
He performed with a couple of modern rock bands, including a gig at Raymond James Stadium.
“I also accompanied ‘Normal the Musical’ at the Straz with a fine group of actors who were also with the Patel Conservatory,” he said.
And then there’s sports, too, of course.
“I love athletics as well, I tend to play most sports well, but I have to combat my parents on which ones I play,” Parker said.
He also hasn’t wasted any time preparing for the upcoming school year, Parker will attend Sunlake High as a freshman, and he’s already working with , who Parker said is “considered by most as one of the leading band directors in our area.”
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Though he is known for his prowess on the piano, Parker said he has a percussion background that will be put to use by O’ Malley using instruments he is not as familiar with. And that’s an exciting prospect.
“Looking forward to learning something very different in the musical world,” Parker said.
When he’s not rocking the piano, playing guitar or singing, Parker said he spends a lot of time reading. He also excels at math, writing and science. He’s looking forward to starting high school and seeing his friends that he hasn’t seen enough of over the summer. And maybe sneak in a sport, “if I can balance my time,” he said.
“I like to run, play some golf, or soccer,” Parker said. “If it can fit.”
As far as plans for after graduation go, he’s got some time to figure that out. And those plans will depend “tremendously” on where he is at the time, Parker said.
“I am composing music now, so that would be something if I could pull that off as a way to make a living. But scholastically, I am a high achiever, so I am sure I will apply to Ivy League schools unless a music miracle happens.”
Parker also was chosen as a semi-finalist in Rand McNally’s “America the Beautiful” essay contest at the end of his eighth-grade year at Rushe Middle School. You can read his essay in the attachments of this story.
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