Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Anthony Kearns Headlines Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Centennial Celebration

Mr. Kearns, an original member of the PBS super-group, The Irish Tenors, was accompanied by David George from Louisville, Kentucky.

Anthony Kearns Headlines Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Centennial Celebration

An enthusiastic crowd packed the pews of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Norfolk, VA on Nov. 21, 2021, for a captivating concert performance by renowned tenor Anthony Kearns to celebrate the church's centennial anniversary.

During 2021, the Blessed Sacrament parish has marked its anniversary with several events, culminating with the concert by Kearns. The church was dedicated on February 20, 1921, by the Right Rev. Dennis J. O'Connell, the seventh Bishop of Richmond. Msgr. Leo J. Ryan, an immigrant from Ireland, was the first pastor.

Mr. Kearns, an original member of the PBS super-group, The Irish Tenors, was accompanied by David George from Louisville, Kentucky. Both artists performed at a pre-Mass concert for Pope Francis in Philadelphia in 2015, among many other high-level appearances together.

Mr. Kearns, alongside George at piano, enthralled the audience with a mix of inspirational and religious songs, Irish ballads, and popular tunes, including "How Great Thou Art," "I Believe," "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," "Over the Rainbow", "Grace," "She Moved Through the Fair," "Time to Say Good-bye," and the classic "Danny Boy."

As he reached the dramatic crescendos of "O Sole Mio", the audience went wild with applause, leading to many standing ovations. The subtle yet impactful physical dialogue between Kearns and his accompanist throughout the concert amplified the theatrics of the performance, creating a sensational atmosphere for those in attendance.

"Nights like this don't come often enough, listening to world-class performer in support of a worthy cause. Anthony Kearns' concert was a blessing for our parish and the overall community," said Father Eric Ayers, pastor of the historic church.

The concert was held by Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in partnership with The Barry Robinson Center and the Next Step To Success program. Next Step is a new anti-poverty initiative supporting young teens in Norfolk with education, mentorship and enrichment activities. The Barry Robinson Center is a premier behavioral health system for youth, anchored by a residential treatment program in Norfolk for military-connected children and teens.

Charles "Chuck" V. McPhillips, Chairman of the Board for Next Step To Success and The Barry Robinson Center, said he was "elated to have so much star power" to illuminate the transformative power of the Next Step program.

"All children want to succeed, all children can succeed, all children deserve an opportunity to succeed," said McPhillips, who was instrumental in securing Mr. Kearns' performance. "The evening exceeded everyone's expectations."

"With two full sets of songs, and an intermission, I really think everyone in attendance got their money and then some," McPhillips said. "It was a really spectacular, historic event."

The emotive concert followed a Kearns' performance at the residence of the Irish Ambassador in Washington D.C. in October -- his second live performance in the U.S. post-lockdown since March 2020.

Mr. Kearns has been beloved by fans across the globe since breaking onto the scene as a member of the PBS supergroup 'The Irish Tenors' in 1998. Kearns, and the members of the Irish trio garnered global acclaim through its PBS specials and best-selling recordings. When not touring with The Irish Tenors, Kearns enjoys a robust international solo career.

"It was an honor to participate in the centennial celebration of Blessed Sacrament, a church with deep Irish Catholic roots, and to contribute to such a worthy cause," said Kearns, noting that the concert was attended by some of the youth who benefit from Next Step To Success program.

"This concert touched so many hearts and helped raise awareness about the ways the community is coming together to help our youth. That is what we as an organization try to do-- help our community, and improve the lives of children and their families," said Robert McCartney, chief executive officer of The Barry Robinson Center since August 2012.

Commenting on the tone of the evening, McCartney said, "It was a great concert for a great cause, and I think people had a spectacular time."

Kearns' appearance was arranged by Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, L.L.C.


Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatergoer in Central Virginia? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.


 



CABARET, DEAR JACK, DEAR LOUISE And More Announced for Virginia Theatre Festival 2023 Seas Photo
The Virginia Theatre Festival will take another exciting step in its return from the pandemic by kicking off its 2023 season with a major musical.

Disneys THE JUNGLE BOOK to Open at The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in February Photo
Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS is playing at The Ella Fitzgerald Theater from Friday, February 17 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, February 18 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Winners Announced For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Central Virginia Awards Photo
The winners have been announced for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Central Virginia Awards, honoring the best in regional productions, touring shows, and more which had their first performance between October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Riley Green To Perform As Part Of ATLANTIC UNION BANK AFTER HOURS At The Servpro Pavilion, Photo
Riley Green will perform as part of Atlantic Union Bank After Hours on Sunday, July 23, 2023 at the SERVPRO Pavilion in The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM. A limited number of Early Bird General Admission tickets will be available for $26 until February 2nd while supplies last. 


More Hot Stories For You


World Premiere of Joe Calarco's SPRING BREAK Will Open at Four County PlayersWorld Premiere of Joe Calarco's SPRING BREAK Will Open at Four County Players
January 30, 2023

As part of their 50th Anniversary Season in Barboursville, Four County Players is proud to present the world premiere of SPRING BREAK by Joe Calarco, opening February 3 in the Cellar.

CABARET, DEAR JACK, DEAR LOUISE And More Announced for Virginia Theatre Festival 2023 SeasonCABARET, DEAR JACK, DEAR LOUISE And More Announced for Virginia Theatre Festival 2023 Season
January 25, 2023

The Virginia Theatre Festival will take another exciting step in its return from the pandemic by kicking off its 2023 season with a major musical.

Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK to Open at The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in FebruaryDisney's THE JUNGLE BOOK to Open at The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in February
January 24, 2023

Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS is playing at The Ella Fitzgerald Theater from Friday, February 17 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, February 18 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Firehouse Theatre And The New Theatre Announce MergerFirehouse Theatre And The New Theatre Announce Merger
January 17, 2023

The boards of Firehouse Theatre and The New Theatre have announced the merger of these two adventurous, dynamic organizations. With considerable mission overlap, cultural alignment, and complimentary visions and ambitions, this synergistic fusion will expand and accelerate the delivery of shared core commitments and programmatic intentions.

Indian Ranch Adds Chase Rice And The Mavericks To 2023 Summer Concert SeriesIndian Ranch Adds Chase Rice And The Mavericks To 2023 Summer Concert Series
January 9, 2023

Two new shows have been added to the 2023 Summer Concert Series at Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. Country singer Chase Rice is bringing his Way Down Yonder Tour to the Indian Ranch stage on Saturday, July 1, 2023 with special guests Read Southall Band & Avery Anna. In addition, the venue announced that The Mavericks will return on Saturday, July 22, 2023.