Guest artists will perform at the Geneseo High School Concert Hall

On Saturday, February 26, guest artist and accomplished pianist/composer Barron Ryan will team up with his Steinway-sponsored father, Donald Ryan, for a Ryan & Ryan performance of their “Going Gershwin” program.

The program, in cooperation with Quad City Arts and its guest artist series, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Geneseo High School Concert Hall, 700 North State St. General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available online at https://quadcityarts.secure.force.com/ticket/#/instances/aOF3c00001Fq4gLEAR.

Quad City Arts is a local non-profit arts agency dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Quad City area through the arts.

Information from Quad City Arts indicates that Ryan & Ryan are a dynamic father-son piano duo “who draw inspiration from classical and contemporary music to create exciting concert experiences. From Rachmaninoff to Gershwin to Billy Joel, Donald and Barron Ryan combine their talents to create a dazzling mix of old and new schools.

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Donald Ryan came to the United States to study music, earning degrees from Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa. He is well known as a master of various styles – evidenced by a diploma from the 9th International Chopin Competition as well as his induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. He has also earned the distinction of being among the most accomplished pianists in the world as a Steinway Artist.

Considering his father’s profession, Barron Ryan’s choice to play the piano comes as no surprise, and he’s been no stranger to performing since he was four years old.

He distinguished himself in his piano studies at the University of Oklahoma and was a featured soloist at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, among many other venues. Barron Ryan has also been the winner of numerous piano competitions, including the Oklahoma Israel Exchange Young Artists Competition in 2011.

He was recently named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of “Ten Innovators to Watch”.

Information received from Quad City Arts said, “As a team of performers, Donald and Barron Ryan amaze audiences with their talent, expressiveness and love of music. Their background in classical, jazz, ragtime and funk allows them to create exciting new music and give new interpretations of the old. Audiences everywhere were thrilled with their renditions of selections from Grusin’s “The Firm” soundtrack as well as Rachmanoff’s “Second Suite for Two Pianos”. Their renditions of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” have always earned a standing ovation.

The pair also emphasize education. Each pianist has extensive experience as a star performer/speaker in the classroom – from early years to college level – and so the pair have a good understanding of how to use music as a motivational tool for students. Their website is https://www.ryanandryanmusic.com/.

Larry Lord, Principal of the Geneseo High School Performing Arts Center, and who has been instrumental in working with Quad City Arts, said, “The first of what I hope will be many concerts in cooperation with Quad City Arts and their guest artists. will be here in our own concert hall. I am thrilled to have the opportunity for our music lovers from across the Quad Cities area to come see our beautiful concert hall and hear the Father and Son piano duo of Barron and Donald Ryan perform their “Going Gershwin” concert. Saturday February 2. 26, at 7 p.m. Who doesn’t love Gershwin?

“We’ve been holding concerts and school activities in the concert hall since late 2017, and students, parents, grandparents all know what a beautiful place it is,” Lord said. “The school concert will continue to be an important part of what we are here for, at the same time we hope to have more concerts as guest artists so more people can see our gem of a concert hall and hear a class world concert.”

Corina C. Butler