Gettysburg College student balances passion for athletics, music

Put football players on a football field and you will get noise. But pull Gettysburg College junior Anthony DeSalva away from practice and put him in a recital hall and he will make something else.

Something beautiful. Something meaningful. Something personal. DeSalva's best position?

It's not running back. It is when he is facing a piano translating music; his music, that he wrote himself.

"It became something I did on my own and something I love to do," said DeSalva.

DeSalva, a native of Redding, Conn., has been playing since he was seven years-old, composing since he was eleven. He has finished around ten pieces of music; some of which placed in state high school competitions.

And while Anthony prefers Billy Joel, his creations are mostly classical.


"My teacher always harps (on) the classicals; the Bachs and the Mozarts," he said. "So I like to think I have a good feel for everything."

A piano has 88 keys and over 1200 different possible chords. Writing music has to be more difficult than reading a playbook, right?

DeSalva says its difficult to compare the two. But this time of year, he spends more time practicing and playing football, than writing and playing music.

"If you're just football, football, football, it can wear on you," said Gettysburg head coach Barry Streeter, now in his 31st year. "You need to have other things (in your life)."

Anthony obviously has that.

"It's just a way to relax and let loose," DeSalva said of composing his own music and playing the piano. "You got nothing to do, (you say) 'Let's play the piano and do something constructive.'"

Something constructive away from the football field. Away from all that noise.

By: Jason Bristol, WHP-CBS Ch. 21 News


Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Mon, 26 Oct 2009

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