When child star Damian McGinty joined Celtic Thunder at the tender age of 14 he was the youngest member of the group. Now eight years on, and still just 22 years of age, he made his spectacular return to the singing sensation for “The Very Best of Celtic Thunder” tour.
McGinty returns to the group following a five-year break which saw him take to L.A. and break on to TV through the hit show “Glee”. At just 18, he crooned his way to joint-first place in the first season of “The Glee Project,” a talent show searching for the next stars to join the “Glee” cast.
McGinty’s success saw him land a recurring role in through the third season and part of the fourth season of the FOX show, playing an Irish foreign exchange student, Rory Flanagan.
He tells the Herald, “I look back on it very fondly. I was going in at 18 years old. Even though I was with Celtic Thunder for four years, I was very young. I’m still young now. I went out to Los Angeles myself. I was looking at everything with my eyes wide open. I was very innocent and pretty naive about it all.”
Winning his first music competition at just six years old, McGinty cites big band and swing as his influences. He received his first big break at just 13 when he recorded a charity CD which was brought to the attention of Celtic Thunder Producer Sharon Browne and Music Director Phil Coulter. Seeing something special in McGinty, they asked him to audition for their new show and he was immediately cast as the boy wonder/teenager.
Although a member of Celtic Thunder for four years while a teenager, McGinty returned home to Derry and attended school between tours. It was through “Glee” that he moved to L.A., where he has spent the past four years, and where he plans to stay to continue his work in music and acting. The worldwide smash “Glee” came to a close last month but due to scheduling conflicts, McGinty was unable to take part in the show’s two-hour finale featuring all previous Glee members.
While in L.A.,McGinty has also worked on a solo album and sought to improve his acting skills, taking speech lessons to perfect his American accent. The music on his solo album will differ from the theme of Celtic Thunder and will be different to his previous work. He says, “There is a Coldplay vibe, Sam Smith vibe to it.”
“The Very Best of Celtic Thunder” tour is currently underway and traveling across the US. Venue dates and tickets can be found here: www.celticthunder.com/best.
McGinty will also be perform solo on April 26 at a Benefit Concert For The Wisner-Pilger Public School Library in Wayne, Nebraska. Tickets can be purchased here: wisnerpilgerevents.myonlinecamp.com.