Christmas came early for 8-year-old Anthony Garguila of Glenmont, the YouTube sensation of Hamagrael School who is singing his way into stardom.
Garguila appeared on two nationally televised programs, The Today Show on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and the Ellen Degeneres Show in California Friday, Dec. 7, just weeks after a YouTube video of Garguila was released showing the local boy belting out the national anthem at a Siena basketball game.
It’s been a heckuva run, said Anthony’s dad Richard resting at home after a whirlwind week that took Anthony 3,000 miles and back meeting celebrities like country singer Trisha Yearwood and Paula Dean from `Paula’s Home Cooking.`
`The phone has not stopped ringing since The Today Show ended,` said Richard.
Garguila has been singing locally since he was 5 and according to Anthony himself, he has been singing since he left the crib.
`I started singing at 2 years old,` said Anthony, whose fame began by watching his favorite show American Idol.
Anthony entered a local Disney musical competition in 2006 winning that event and then coming in second nationally. Then he and his brother Louis were videotaped singing before an American Idol concert at the Times Union Center. Their combined singing talents and youthful exuberance so charmed the American Idol singers that saw the videotape of Anthony that they were asked to go backstage and meet all the singers. American Idol singer Melinda Doolittle was the one most impressed.
`She fell in love with Anthony,` said Jude-Ann Garguila, Anthony’s mom.
Doolittle then downloaded Anthony singing the National Anthem and put it on her MySpace account.
`Next thing we knew we were getting e-mails from other countries asking for Anthony’s CD,` said Jude-Ann.
His performance then made it to YouTube and from there the rest is history. Over 2.5 million YouTube hits later, Anthony Garguila is the newest singing sensation.
`It’s very exciting and very overwhelming,` said Jude. `He is 8 years old and we want to keep him as normal as possible.`
Anthony said his friends at Hamagrael do not treat him any differently and he’s glad for that.
`My best friends treat me the same,` said Anthony, who is not the only musically talented performer in the family. Both of Anthony’s parents are musicians and his 11-year-old brother Louis writes and records songs with Anthony.
`I’ve written the music to two songs and the lyrics to another song,` said Louis.
The songs include `Come Back to Me Now,` and `Take Me to the Mall.`
Along with writing and recording music, Louis recently performed in the sixth grade concert and will be in the upcoming school musical `Oliver.` As for music, Anthony is a little bit country and Louis is a little bit rock n roll.
`I like Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen and Anthony likes country and pop,` said Louis.
As the family rests at home after a grueling cross-country week, Anthony is enjoying the many gifts he received from his two national TV appearances. On the Today Show, he received an autographed NBA basketball from former New York Knicks star John Starks and was asked to perform the national anthem at an upcoming Knicks game inside Madison Square Garden. Ellen Degeneres gave Anthony a host of American Idol gifts from books, to posters, and CD’s and DVD games.
`Anthony and I spent a few hours yesterday unwrapping the gifts,` said Richard.
The most memorable part of the trip for Anthony was not the TV appearance or any of the stars he sat next to.
`It was seeing the Hollywood sign,` said Anthony.“