Hitting a high note; Tampa middle school custodian makes music for teachers, students

Andres Blanco has been a custodian at Farnell Middle School in Tampa for about a year. 

"He's a great guy," said Farnell Middle School principal Dr. Tim Binder. "He's one of the most humble, nicest people you ever going to meet." 

The 60-year-old school maintenance worker came to the U.S. eight years ago from Cuba with extraordinary musical talent. Blanco started making music when he was 12 years old.  

"Back in that time, when I was in Cuba, I was going to this place where they played,” explained Blanco. “I would kind of listen and catch the notes and when I was going home I was going to practice them." 

Andres has very little formal training and can't read music. But you wouldn't know it by the way he plays. Dr. Binder discovered Blanco’s hidden talent while walking through the school's cafeteria. 

"It was right about lunchtime and I hear music and I'm thinking, I wonder is a teacher's phone is ringing, a ring tone or something,” Binder said. 

He was amazed by what he saw.

"I look up and it's Andres playing the piano on stage and apparently he does this a lot during his lunch break to relax. He will go up on stage and play the piano. It’s absolutely beautiful music," Binder said. 

Blanco was so talented that the school asked him for a favor.

"My orchestra teacher had actually asked him if he wanted to accompany the orchestra one day at one of their concerts, but he couldn't because he can't read music," Binder said.  

Blanco is playing all the right notes, expressing his love of music for all to hear.