Jack Stone Award turns music into career for MC student

  • Sanno Sanchez

Sanno Sanchez grew up around music, but decided to his follow his pocketbook over his passion when it came down to studying business at Morton College.

“About a year later, I went down to the music department and met (music instructor) John Warren,” Sanchez said. “He pushed me to do a lot of the things I’m doing now. Originally, I was going to do music as a hobby and business as a career.”

The Cicero resident looks like he’ll be making a career in the music industry. One of his compositions received a third-place honor for a Jack Stone Award, which recognizes budding community college musicians across the country. Two other compositions will be played at an upcoming Morton College music recital in May.
As part of the Stone honors, Sanchez receives an all-expense trip to San Antonio in April, where he will receive his award. Sanchez’s award-winning piece, “Waiting, Wishing, Hoping,” will be performed by a professional ensemble featuring guitarist Neal Fitzpatrick at Northwest Vista College’s Palmetto Center for the Arts. In addition, Sanchez will attend a master class where his composition will be analyzed by professional musicians on Tuesday, April 22nd.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Sanchez, a graduate of Morton East High School. “This is the highest honor I’ve ever received. I’m getting an award and being paid for it. It’s a pretty big deal.”

Sanchez’s father plays the guitar and his uncle, the drums and saxophone. Sanno has been composing songs since the age of 12. He would record them into a cassette player and play them on a little radio. When Sanchez would visit relatives in Mexico, there always was music. At Morton East, Sanchez joined the school band and played the saxophone and flute. He’s taken first viola and piano lessons at Morton College.

His award-winning piece, which features the guitar, violin and cello, came as the result of a challenge from Morton College adjunct music instructor Dr. Jessica Maxfield, who told Sanchez to have a finished piece on her desk before the end of the 2013 Fall Semester.

“Some of it was part of a song I wrote a long time ago,” Sanchez said. “I started it on guitar and it was too short. So, I extended it a little bit further. My motivation was to start my career. I want to compose film scores and music for commercials.”

Sanchez plans to graduate with an Associate in Arts degree in May of 2015. With advice from Warren and Maxfield, Sanchez is looking for a four-year school to study music.

“This is a really big deal,” said Warren of Sanchez’s honor. “It’s a really good thing for him. The cool thing about it is that he gets to hear his piece performed and discussed by composers. Sanno’s just a fantastic student and he’s one of the reasons why we’re here.”