Ronan Tynan: What a wonderful guy!
When asked what his most amazing features are, he smiled and said, “My smile and my two ears. They make me look like Shrek!” These were the words of the man who will be the NPAC Gala featured speaker and artist on September 14 and 15. Ronan Tynan said this in an “ABC Prime Time Live” interview I wish you all could see. I wish you could see the interview because it says what I will have a difficult time saying in writing. I truly believe that if everyone could see this interview, there wouldn’t be enough seats at the NPAC to hold everyone! For what it’s worth, here it goes:
Let’s start with Ronan Tynan the singer. If you know of him, it’s quite possible you know of him as one of the Three Irish Tenors. In 1998, Tynan joined Anthony Kearns and John McDermott (later Finbar Wright) as The Irish Tenors and they became an instant worldwide sensation.
A few other notable solo singing engagements include the 80th birthday celebration of former President George H.W. Bush, the funeral of President Ronald Reagan (at the request of Nancy Reagan), the White House Governors Ball, the White House St. Patrick’s Day Reception that was attended by members of the U.S. and Irish governments, and the Concert of Hope prior to the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium. And speaking of Yankee Stadium, Tynan has a World Series ring from the Yankees for his singing at a seventh-inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks thought his singing was a good luck charm.
He also sang numerous benefits and memorials for the New York Police and Fire departments. The New York Times hailed him as: “a Tenor as Irish as baseball and ‘God Bless America’ … Mr. Tynan’s voice is very easy to listen to, effortlessly singing top notes. He had tremendous command of his repertoire.”
Okay, enough about his singing. I think you’re convinced he’s worthy of hearing. Now about the man … he was born with defective feet that eventually landed him in a group home for children for three years while doctors tried to surgically correct his problems. Finally, his loving and caring parents said enough, and brought him back home. His father was always encouraging to him, telling him he was “great!” His mother never doted over him and made him do everything the way other kids did, even while having braces on both legs.
When he reached the age of 20, he had to have both legs amputated and then was fitted with prosthetic legs. But that didn’t stop him. One year later, he was competing in the Paralympics and winning gold medals in several competitive events. In four years, he won 18 gold medals and set 14 world records, nine of which still stand in the Paralympics. “Can’t”, he says, is not in his vocabulary. His mother’s tough love instilled this in him.
So he decided to enter medical school to become a doctor. In eight years, he was Dr. Ronan Tynan, helping other amputees with therapy and coping skills. While studying medicine, he decided he would like to study voice. After being turned down by a school of music, he finally burst into a voice teacher’s studio and said, “You need to hear me sing!” He was now 33 years old, was in residency as a physician and now was on scholarship to study voice. Incredible!
After a year of voice study, he entered the John McCormack Cup for Tenor Voice and the BBC talent show, “Go for It” — the British version of “America has Talent”. The following year, he won the International Operatic Singing Competition in Maumarde, France. It wasn’t long before he hooked up with two other Irish tenors … and now you know the rest of the story.
Oh! Did I mention that he also is avid horseman and an advocate for horse therapy and the Wounded Warriors movement?
The big Irishman also has a special relationship with American audiences. ”America is powerful and intense, and it begs you to take it on,” Tynan marvels. ”If you do that and do it right, it will give you absolutely everything you want. The thing I love about America is that there are so many people who want you to do well. They will you to do well. They encourage you, and they rejoice in your success. That’s a great virtue. I think Americans are fantastic people. He attributes his success to his faith and the knowledge that the Man Above guides him through every door he opens.
Think you would like to meet this man? Friday, September 14, Ronan will be arriving in Van Wert for a Gala Celebration dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the Willow Bend Country Club. You can call the box office for information about this special dinner. He will then be speaking at the NPAC about his life and overcoming challenges. Think he knows a little about this? The Speaking event begins at 7:00 p.m. at the NPAC. Tickets are on sale now for this. Then Saturday night, September 15, he will perform a formal concert for our Gala Celebration backed by a full symphony orchestra- the Lima Symphony . Tickets for this very special concert are now on sale at the box office too.
I tried to do justice explaining as much as I could about this world-class Tenor and individual, but if you would like to see a video clip of his interview on CBS Sunday Morning, go to our website: www.npacvw.org and click on him toward the bottom of the home page. I hope you can help us fill the house for this amazing man. Tell your friends. We will all be inspired, educated and entertained- guaranteed!
For those of you with little kids and grandkids don’t forget that ImaginOcean tickets go on sale today at the NPAC: it’s a great kid’s show!
The community band is in Fountain Park this Friday and then Brass Transit concludes our summer series on August 10. See you then!