Anthony Philip Pattin in concert March 1

Dr. Anthony Pattin chats about his years at Montevallo. (Special/Catherine Legg)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

For almost 24 years, the greater University of Montevallo community has had the good fortune of enjoying the beautiful piano music and the friendly presence of Dr. Anthony Pattin.

On Tuesday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in LeBaron Recital Hall, he will present his final solo piano recital as professor of music at UM. Dr. Pattin will officially retire on June 1.

As we talked with the pianist, he smiled as he talked about growing up, the youngest child, in a large family in Toledo, Ohio.

Those were happy days filled with music. His father worked in a corporation and his mother was a homemaker. He explains that he went to good schools where musical instruments and instruction were furnished. As a youngster, he played the piano, oboe, cello and violin.

Pattin could always play by ear, an ability that has helped him learn and memorize music. His first piano instructor was an older brother; years later they were to perform as the “Pattin Brothers” on  two pianos.

A very versatile musician, Pattin is also an acclaimed organist, composer and arranger. He has recorded six CDs and performed all over the U.S. (three performances in Carnegie Hall) and abroad, always receiving extremely high praise. His music performance degrees came from Toledo University, the University of Michigan and the University of Alabama. He received Montevallo’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2002 and the University Scholar Award in 2003.

Pattin came to Montevallo puzzled about the Deep South, but quickly learned to appreciate it.

“Montevallo is a special place,” he said. “It’s unique, and it’s been very good to me. I have made great friends here and I will have so many fond memories to take with me. Seems like coming to UM was meant to be.”

When asked his plans for the “retirement” years, Pattin has a list of things he wants to do. He will continue as director of music at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church and on the music staff at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

Watching movies and college football are among his favorite pastimes, and he wants to travel; he already has a concert tour planned for Japan.

“In retiring there is an advantage to being a performing pianist,” he said. “There is always work.  I will probably be busier than I am now.”

Pattin’s upcoming performances, in addition to the concert on March 1, are with the UM Wind Ensemble on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Palmer, and on April 29 with trombonist Jay Evans.

There is no charge for these concerts and the public is invited.  Call 665-6670 for more information.

Catherine Legg can be reached by email at clegg2@bellsouth.net.