By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Tickets are selling quickly for a concert featuring Irish tenor Ronan Tynan to be presented Friday, May 20, 7 p.m., at Immaculate Conception (IC) Church, 11 Prospect St. in downtown Marlborough. Proceeds will benefit three causes: the IC Parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul, IC School Technology Fund and World Youth Day 2016.
Handling ticket sales is Sandi Barrett, IC School advancement director. She expects the concert to draw a full house.
“We’re basically transforming the church into a concert hall and the acoustics are fabulous,” she said. “We’ll move the portable altar to have more space and bring in a baby grand piano. The church seats just over 700 people and we’re centrally located.”
Tynan was first introduced to international audiences as one of The Irish Tenors, a popular trio that starred in many PBS specials, before launching a solo career. According to his website, “He did not seriously consider formal voice study until he was 33, when he was well into his residency as a physician… Born with lower limb disability that threatened to sideline him throughout his childhood, Tynan was still ‘as wild as a March hare’ when he was a growing boy… When he was 20, his legs had to be amputated below the knee after an auto accident caused serious complications… Within a year, he was winning gold medals in the Paralympics as a multitalented athlete.”
“He’s inspirational and also entertaining,” Barrett said of Tynan. “He tells a lot of stories about growing up in Ireland, his difficulties and becoming a physician. He’s quite an amazing person.”
Joining Tynan will be vocalist Pauline Wells, who has also faced challenges. According to her website, “In 2006, Pauline was stricken with sudden acute hearing loss. The unknown virus would cause complete and permanent hearing loss in her left ear. While some thought her singing would end, she has persevered… Pauline only performs for civic and charitable events.”
The benefit concert will help the revival of the IC Parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The organization’s mission is to serve those in need.
“About 25 members of the parish are starting this organization back up again,” Barrett explained. “Our parish community supports a lot of individuals in a position where there are short-term needs. We wanted to partner with the parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul for this concert because they’re starting to get up and going again.”
The IC School Technology Fund will also benefit from the concert. The fund recently purchased Chromebooks for students in grades five through eight and Wi-Fi is installed in those classrooms. Catholic TV loaned the elementary grades 10 laptops for which software needs to be purchased. The purchase of touchscreen tablets is being considered for preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten.
“This is bringing us to a more state-of-the art place for our students, which prepares them better for whatever high school as they move forward,” Barrett said.
Lastly, the concert will help local participation in World Youth Day 2016 to take place this summer in Krakow, Poland. Fr. Marc Bishop, IC parish administrator, has previously organized youth groups’ participation in the event. This will be the first time for IC parish youth to participate. It will be an opportunity for them to see and hear Pope Francis.
“They’ll become part of a larger Catholic Christian community that they don’t get to see,” Barrett noted.
VIP premium seating concert tickets are $100 and includes and a cocktail hour downstairs at 6 p.m. General seating concert admission is $50 with doors opening upstairs at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets or become a sponsor, contact Barrett at 508-481-3910 or [email protected].
“Our church is an exciting place when it’s full,” she said.
For more information, visit icschool.net.