Tenor Anthony Kearns Receives Standing Ovation at the 2013 Friends of Ireland Lunch
On March 19, 2013, Tenor Anthony Kearns, founding member of the popular group, The Irish Tenors, performed at the 2013 Friends of Ireland Lunch at the U.S. Capitol as the guest of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Special guests included President Barack Obama, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, members of Congress, and dignitaries from Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Kearns, accompanied by Patrick Healy, sang three songs: "Phil the Fluther," by Percy French; "The Star of the County Down," an old Irish ballad set in Northern Ireland; and "O' America," by Irish composer, Brendan Graham and American composer and pianist, William Joseph, which drew a standing ovation led by President Obama.
Said Kearns: "It was a great honor and privilege for me to sing at the invitation of Speaker Boehner before the President of the United States, the Taoiseach, Members of Congress, and other important guests during an event that symbolizes our mutual history, friendship and desire for peace. I was proud to bring the music of Ireland to this distinguished audience."
"I'm grateful to the Speaker for inviting Mr. Kearns to sing at the Friends of Ireland celebration before such an esteemed audience. Music is a unifying force across all cultures. This was a rare and tremendous honor and one that we were very excited about," said Kirsten Fedewa, Kearns' agent and publicist. "Anthony Kearns is a superb ambassador of Ireland to the United States and the world, and he was particularly pleased to lend his voice to such an occasion."
The Luncheon is a time-honored tradition begun in 1981 by House Speaker Tip O'Neill, Senator Ted Kennedy, and President Ronald Reagan, who rose above politics to unite in their shared heritage and desire for peace.
Kearns first sang, "O' America" on the PBS Special, "America's Veterans: A Military Tribute," with the U.S. Air Force Band last November.
Mr. Kearns frequently performs in the USA in concerts, on television, and with American symphony orchestras and opera houses. During the Inaugural season, he performed at a tribute to Medal of Honor recipients with the U.S. Army Chorus as the guest of General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mr. Kearns' appearance at the Friends of Ireland Lunch -- in addition to all of his Inaugural appearances, including the Medal of Honor Tribute and his appearance at the Maryland Democratic Party's Inaugural Ball hosted by Gov. Martin O'Malley -- were arranged by Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, L.L.C.
Photo Credit: U.S. House of Representatives (Courtesy of Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, LLC)