FORT WORTH — A seven-year-old boy named Anton was battling leukemia last year when he got the attention of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
Anton wished small; he is just a little boy.
“He wished for a violin. It came through, but we didn’t expect this... this is big!” exclaimed Anton’s father, Nino Dihayco, standing with his son Sunday afternoon at Bass Performance Hall with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
It turned out that Make-A-Wish had arranged for the boy to get his own instrument, as well as some expert instruction from the professionals at the FWSO.
If that wasn’t enough, it was also arranged for Anton to help conduct a concert. But after all the little trooper has been through medically, it was a case of stage fright that reduced him to tears.
Again, he is just a little boy.
Eventually, Anton did make it on stage with conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who eased the child into position to lead the musicians in a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner."
The little maestro was a big hit.
“We just kind of rolled with it, and he did eventually get to go on stage and get that magical experience we were hoping he would,” said symphony spokeswoman Lindsay Landgraf.
Anton’s wish more than came true. It was worth being nervous. Not real nervous, Anton points out, just... “a little bit."