George Dennehy, who has no arms but is an accomplished musician, will be part of the Tennessee VSA Young Soloist event at MTSU on Wednesday, March 26. Photo submitted
The Tennessee VSA Young Soloist competition will take to the stage On Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the MTSU Hinton Music Hall of the Wright School of Music.
This competition is for any vocalist or instrumentalist from the ages of 14-25 with any forms of disability. The competition feeds into an international competition, which is hosted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. This year’s event will feature eight talented performers and special guest George Dennehy.
On Wednesday, March 25 from 4-4:45 p.m. in the College of Education at MTSU in room 160, Dennehy will provide a free master class that is open to the public. During this class, he will share his inspirational life story while answering questions.
Dennehy is capturing attention all over the web (and the world) for his unique talents. He was born without arms. He sings and plays music from his heart using his feet. Dennehy also has a powerful message to share. Because he has overcome so many challenges in his own life, he believes every individual has a purpose and absolutely anything is possible.
People are surprised by his life story, including his brush with death in a Romanian orphanage, and his adoption by his U.S. family at the age of 1. George started his musical journey by learning to play the cello at the age of 8. He advanced in classical music until he was able to play cello with regional orchestras. With the cello as his launching pad he has taught himself guitar, electric bass and basic piano. Regardless of the setting people in his audience are always inspired, deeply touched, and often realize their own goals are very much within reach.
Dennehy gained worldwide attention after he posted a video of himself covering the Goo Goo Dolls song “Iris” on the web. His story went global and he received media coverage from as nearby as his own hometown, and as far away as London and Sydney. Gawker.com called George the “one man inspiration band.” Then an astonishing thing happened: The Goo Goo Dolls themselves saw the video and loved it. They invited Dennehy to share the stage with them and perform ‘Iris’ to an enthusiastic and excited crowd of 7,000 fans at Musikfest, an annual week long event held in Bethlehem, Penn.
“The Young Soloist competition is my favorite program of VSA Tennessee due to the amazing talent and the inspiration that these artists provide,” said Lori Kissinger, executive director of VSA Tenneesee and instructor of the MTSU ORCO 3250 class is putting the event together. “However, I am especially excited this year due to the fact of the National Endowment grant, which is a huge honor for our organization and State and to have George perform alongside our Tennessee artists. We are also excited that George has agreed to do a free master class at 4 p.m. in the College of Education room 160 for our Young Soloists, MTSU students and the community at large.”
Tickets for the evening concert can be purchased for $5 at the door the evening of the performance. For more information, visit www.vsatn.org or visit VSA Tennessee on Facebook.