Anthony Cananzi, Jr. serves as director of bands at Tocoi Creek High School in St. Augustine, Florida. Prior to opening Tocoi Creek in the fall of 2021, Cananzi was the band director at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida for four years. Before being named director at Nease High School, Anthony was the assistant band director at McEachern High School in Cobb County, Georgia. Cananzi was an assistant at McEachern for five years, as well as the director of percussion for ten years. Cananzi also spent time as the assistant band director at Tapp Middle School, and Barber Middle School both in Cobb County, Georgia.
He earned the Master of Music in Percussion Performance degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He holds his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Anthony has studied with Dr. John Parks, Dr. Michael Kingan, Dr. Gary Olmstead, Dr. Ron Horner, and Dr. Jack Stamp. While studying at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Anthony finished first, second, and third in as many years competing in the Delta Omicron Solo Competition. In the summer of 2002, he was a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps front ensemble where he was awarded the "Rookie of the Year" award. Cananzi has performed with ensembles such as the Florida State Wind Orchestra on their 2007 tour to Ann Arbor, Michigan where they were the showcase concert for the CBDNA National Conference. He also performed in Carnegie Hall with the FSU Percussion Group in May of 2007. While at FSU, Cananzi performed with the University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Chamber Winds, and the University Percussion Ensemble. His professional experience includes the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Tallahassee Ballet Company, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Cobb Wind Symphony under the direction of Alfred Watkins.
As the director of bands at Nease High School, his ensembles have performed at extremely high levels, and have competed on a national stage. In the fall of 2018, the marching band performed at the ensemble’s first Bands of America Regional Championship in Orlando, Florida. In 2019, the marching band was named a regional finalist at the BOA Orlando regional. The ensemble also competed at the Georgia State University Marching Band Championships in Atlanta, Georgia where the marching band finished 2nd in its class, and won highest achieving percussion. In the fall of 2019, the Marching band was named grand champion at the Lafayette Classic in Atlanta, Georgia. Under Cananzi’ s baton, the Nease Wind Ensemble received superior ratings at both the district and state level in 2018 – 2020. In the spring of 2020 the wind ensemble was selected to perform at the Music for All Regional Concert Band Festival in Orlando, Florida
During his tenure at McEachern, the marching band was a consistent Bands of America regional finalist. The McEachern Percussion Ensemble performed at the Lassiter Percussion Symposium, the McEachern Day of Percussion, and at the 2016 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in Athens, Ga. In the spring of 2017, the McEachern Indoor Percussion Ensemble placed first in Scholastic Concert Open at the Georgia Indoor Percussion Association championships, as well as first place at the WGI Atlanta Regional.
Anthony has taught several successful high school percussion programs including the Kiski Area Marching Band. He was the Front Ensemble instructor from 2002-2004 where the ensemble won two BOA Regional Championships and finished 7th at BOA Grand Nationals. Cananzi also spent two seasons as a member of the instructional staff at the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps serving as front ensemble technician. Cananzi also spent time instructing the front ensemble at Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in the summer of 2011, and Atlanta CV in 2014. He resides in St. Augustine, Florida with his wife Jill, his children Luca and Sofia, and three puppies Cessa, Hans, and Evie
Cananzi is a proud member of the Vic Firth Education team and is a Mapex / Majestic performing artist.