Tenor Anthony Kearns Performs at Friends of Ireland Lunch Today in D.C.
Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns performed at the 2013 Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol today, March 19, 2013 as the guest of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Special guests included President Barack Obama, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, as he makes his annual St. Patrick's Day visit to the United States, members of Congress, and dignitaries from Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The Luncheon was hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in conjunction with The Friends of Ireland Caucus, a bipartisan group led by Chairman Peter King (R-NY) and Vice-Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA). The annual event is a time-honored tradition started 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.
"It's 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," said Kearns, a founding member of The Irish Tenors. "I am 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.Thisis a rare and tremendous honor and one that we are 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 is particularly pleased to lend his voice to such an occasion."
Mr. Kearns was accompanied by Patrick Healy, an accomplished pianist who has performed with Kearns on many solo tours for over a decade.
The event marks a full circle for Mr. Kearns, a native of County Wexford, Ireland, whosaid he "cherishes the memory" of singingthe famous Irish ballad, "Danny Boy," with the late Senator Kennedy.
Mr. Kearns first took the American television audience by storm in 1999 as the youngest member of The Irish Tenors, with whom he has ten best-selling CDs and five PBS specials - a group that is among the top three highest-grossing acts for PBS of all time.
Mr. Kearns brings the music of his homeland as well as a wide repertoire of classical and folk music, opera, and international favorites to audiences throughout Europe and America. He frequently performs in the USA in concerts, on television, and with American symphony orchestras and opera houses.
Ms. Fedewa said Anthony Kearns "is no stranger to Washington," having performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, The Music Center at Strathmore, and other venues. He also recently headlined concert benefits for the USO, CharityWorks, Stand Up for Heroes, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and ThanksUSA. Earlier this year, Kearns performed with the U.S. Army Chorus at a pre-Inaugural Reception as the guest of General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also performed at the Maryland Democratic Party's Inaugural Ball hosted by Governor Martin O'Malley (MD) and at Governor Bob McDonnell's (VA)inaugural gala in 2010. Last year, for the Veteran's Day weekend, Kearns performed at the New Zealand Embassy to benefit the USO and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. He also performed with theU.S. Air Force Bandfor the PBS Special, "America's Veterans: A Military Tribute,"where he sang his new song, "O' America," live for the first time. This beautiful song resulted from a collaborative effort between Irish songwriter Brendan Graham and American William Joseph.
Pictured: Anthony Kearns sings "O' America"