WEEKI WACHEE — Cameron Tretter's fingers fly over piano keys like a hummingbird's wings — rapidly, gracefully and purposefully. Perhaps that is part of the reason he earned a superior rating at the state solo and ensemble competition at Jacksonville University on March 18.
The event is for vocalists, but Cameron explained: "I'm an accompanist for the Weeki Wachee High School choir, and there is a competition for singers, but (also) those who play instruments with choirs."
The 17-year-old Weeki Wachee High junior has been playing the piano for 13 years, beginning when he was 4. His activity at that time was restricted for health reasons, which limited his extracurricular options.
One day, he was out with his mother, Christina Tretter, when he saw and began experimenting with a piano.
"From that moment on, he was hooked," she said.
She and Cameron's father, Darren Tretter, bought their child a used piano for $75 to see how far his interest would go. Cameron is still at it — and now has a better piano.
He has taken private lessons at the Porto School of Music in Spring Hill with Joe Porto for about seven years.
Porto is impressed with his student.
"He's met and actually gone beyond my expectations," he said. "If he pursues and does what I want him to do, he should be able to walk into any university,"
Cameron wants to go to college, but is torn between piano and aeronautical engineering. If he chooses music, he would like to attend the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. If he goes for engineering, he's looking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which, he pointed out, also has a good music program.
Whatever his path, Cameron will always play the piano.
"I'd be the most depressed person without it," he said.