Brian Hunter
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Brian Hunter

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"Brian Hunter, Tenor, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC"

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, tenor Brian Hunter and Cherish the Ladies came to Alice Tully Hall on March 14th and got everybody's eyes smiling. This was as packed a house as I've seen at Tully, and both the ladies and Hunter had every listener in the palm of their hands and singing along with them.
Hunter sang every work by heart and with heart, and deftly guided the audience on a tour through the catalogue of great and lesser known Irish folk songs. The amplification was done with taste, and the only things missing were a touch of imaginative lighting and a bit more movement on stage from Hunter. In "It's a Great Day for the Irish" and other numbers, he gave good support to all his high notes, sang with clarity of pitch and purity of tone, and his diction was clear and authentic: R's rolled off the tongue with abandon and Irish charm. The song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" got the audience happily involved creating a domino effect: in "McNamara's Band", people began clapping spontaneously and enthusiastically. Sometimes the infectious clapping even obscured Hunter's singing. And the audience loved the inclusion of George W. Bush as part of added lyrics.
The next set was a line up of sentimental numbers. It began lovingly with "That's an Irish Lullaby", a song which Hunter said had personal significance. "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" was sweet and tender, and "Macushla", an endearing set of verses, as well as the ever popular "Danny Boy" were so affecting that there was a beautiful silence in the audience during and after the performances.
In the last sets, his voice began to tire a bit (it was a long first half), but he made up for it with increasingly active movement on stage and a gamut of facial expressions that conveyed all the various moods. In "Fields of Athenry", his vibrato got a bit wobbly and inconsistent, but he had lovely turns of phrases just the same. And the nasal tone quality which he applied to certain songs was in perfect character. In "Trottin' to the Fair", the string pizzicato was as evocative as Hunter's own horse hoofing sounds at the finish. After such a stirring first set and such a profoundly moving second set, one might have thought the final four songs a bit anticlimactic, but at the conclusion, the audience was on its feet, appreciative of Hunter's monumental presentation. The Alaria Chamber Ensemble and pianist John De Maio made significant contributions and played well. - Anthony Aibel - New York Concert Review,


Discography

"The Same Great Love Song" is my first CD - most of the songs are from the "John McCormack" repertoire and there are a number of great songs from the American song book. There are a few on sonicsbids.com but more at http://jhcbh.com/brian_hunter_lyric__irish_tenor.

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Bio

I've had a lot of success as an American Irish tenor and as a classical tenor. With my travel business, I've hired myself and other musicians to do hundreds of cruises, where I've had the opportunity to hone a huge repertoire, including a small but growing number of my own songs. My voice is unique and well trained, but what really sets me apart is my desire to communicate, a dedication to lyrics. Whether I sing my own lyrics or someone else's, it's because I believe they are worth delivering. I think a lot about the order of songs in a concert - they should build on each other; the program should bring people on a journey.
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Brian Hunter, Songwriter
Brian Hunter’s senior year science teacher came up with an idea to get the truant star of the high school musicals to show up more regularly to her 8:00 AM class: instead of a final research project, write a musical. He did, and subsequently studied composition and playwriting in college. His first full-length musical was as a student of Clifford Mason. After two years of college, he left school to get more life experience, giving four years to the Navy. From a strict Catholic upbringing, in the Navy he was re-baptized a Southern Baptist and enjoyed singing in both church choirs. Eventually, he would grow out of specific religious doctrine, but the widening circle of churches gave him exposure to Catholic and Protestant song and choir traditions. After the Navy, he returned to school in the Bronx, while singing weddings, funerals and church services. For a decade, he performed with the famed Welch Chorale, and again found that composition was called for in order to get solos while competing with substantial tenors holding twenty to fifty years’ seniority in the group. He excelled at Lehman College, receiving a BA in Music, MA in Music/Education, and BS in Computer Science. There he studied composition, orchestration and musical analysis with Ulysses Kay. Earlier studies included conducting with Elliott Magaziner, and lyric and songwriting for theater with Stanley Sonntag at Manhattanville College.
Since those days, Brian has gone on to a solo career as a classical and Irish tenor with an amazingly large and diverse repertoire spanning many languages. He always tries to include his own compositions in his concerts. He has a special love for the Irish repertoire and was the Irish tenor selected for the NBC 2002 St. Patrick’s Day Parade broadcast.