“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains; you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas; I am strong, when I am on your shoulders; you raise me up, to more than I can be.”
Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns raised his voice in a stunning rendition of “You Raise Me Up” (Loveland/Graham) as he performed in the Crowne Centre for Fine Arts on February 9. Along with a repertoire of popular songs such as “Danny Boy” and “Over the Rainbow,” Kearns masterfully projected an air of comfort and peace to listeners across the auditorium.
Accompanied by Kentucky native David George, Kearns presented his selections by giving a history of each song—without giving away the title—before performing them. Often, as the current song became apparent, gasps of excitement would rise from the audience. Taking a cue from the audience’s reactions, Kearns tailored his set list to appeal to their tastes.
“I thought it was perfect,” said Stephen Spilger (GA). “He sang songs that people knew yet still added in classics like ‘La Mattinata’ by Leoncavallo.”
Prior to performing the song “Grace” by Sean and Frank O’Meara, Kearns shared how a member of the audience had e-mailed him with a request for the song to be sung. He then told its somber backstory, how a man set to be executed for his part in an uprising in Dublin was allowed to marry his love mere hours before his death. As he sang the lyrics, the audience was awed and moved with emotion.
“After he sang ‘Grace,’ the room fell very quiet,” said Samantha Allen (’18). “One of the girls in my group was fighting back tears, trying to not make a mess of her makeup.”
At the end of the night, Kearns appropriately parted with a song titled “Goodbye” after receiving a standing ovation. After the performance, he greeted audience members who thanked him for the time and work he put into presenting the memorable Fine Arts.