Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

MANY par­ents would have said no to their 14-year-old son leav­ing Derry in North­ern Ire­land to tour Amer­ica with four other sub­stan­tially older male singers.

For­tu­nately for Damian McGinty, his par­ents trusted him to go live his dream, and so in 2007 he be­came an orig­i­nal mem­ber of Celtic Thun­der.

“They didn’t hold me back and I’m grate­ful be­cause it’s led to a lot of great stuff and I’ve en­joyed the last, nine, al­most 10 years now,” McGinty said.

“It all hap­pened very fast and a lot of it was right place, right time, which I feel is the case with most things in life. As soon as it fell into my lap, I didn’t think twice and grabbed it.”

McGinty spent four years with Celtic Thun­der while the per­form­ers made a name for them­selves bring­ing a new twist to an eclec­tic reper­toire of Ir­ish and folk mu­sic, adult con­tem­po­rary, rock and clas­si­cal crossovers.

He left in 2001 af­ter win­ning re­al­ity tele­vi­sion show The Glee Project, the prize grant­ing him al­most three years play­ing the char­ac­ter Rory Flana­gan on Glee.

“Ini­tially I heard ‘re­al­ity show’ and thought ‘no way’ be­cause I’d just spent the past four years build­ing a pro­fes­sional pro­file for my­self in Celtic Thun­der and wasn’t go­ing to throw that away for a re­al­ity show,” McGinty said.

“But they ex­plained the con­cept and it was very dif­fer­ent. I love work­ing hard and chal­leng- ing my­self; it was the best risk I’ve ever taken.”

Now based in LA, McGinty will re­join Celtic Thun­der as spe­cial guest for the Aus­tralian Legacy tour, his first trip to our shores.

“It felt like the right time for me to come back; it felt un­fin­ished and still a part of me,” he said.

“We pride our­selves on the show be­ing more than just about the mu­sic, it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group has five dou­ble passes, plus a CD, to give away to Celtic Thun­der on May 7. En­ter at­mu­ni­ by April 25.

Tanya MacNaughton

Celtic Thun­der, in­clud­ing Damian McGinty sec­ond from left.

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