Hen Hud Junior Making Lasting Impressions with Musical Talent
By Justine Hudock
Piano virtuoso Christopher McGinnis, who made a name for himself with his remarkable musical gift at just eight years old, continues to take the world by storm as his career and fan base follow him to the next level.
Now 16, the Hendrick Hudson High School junior, who already maintains a musical presence musicians generations older than him would be proud to have under their belt, has performed at Madison Square Garden three times, as well as Paramount Theater in Peekskill and at a New York Knicks game, all before turning 13.
Other significant accomplishments include his performances at ‘Playlist Live,’ a yearly gathering of fans, creators and supporters of online video, ‘Teen Hoot,’ an “outlet for up and coming teen musicians to perform and connect with fans around the world,” and ‘Terminal 5,’ a New York City music venue. When asked, McGinnis said that in particular, his performance at Terminal 5 “made me think it would be cool to [perform] all the time. […] The audience was just so energized!”
This teen’s already sparkling résumé as a pianist makes up just one part of the many musical fields he’s proficient in; a lyricist and singer, McGinnis has written five studio singles (all available on iTunes or Amazon), including I Look To My God, which he says is the song he’s most proud of, and that it was first inspired by: “…the Newtown Tragedy, then the Spytendival train crash, and just all the emotions you feel when you lose a loved one.” McGinnis also said that he considers Billy Joel to be his role model in the world of pop music, “because of my being a piano player and songwriter.”
Along with piano and singing, McGinnis said he also “really enjoys playing the organ. I was actually hired by the Catholic Archdiocese when I was 15 years old. I sing and play the organ for three different churches. […] I really enjoy the liturgical music. Singing and playing the organ in church has definitely been one of the highlights of my career.” He is also an advanced guitar and drum player.
With the world just beginning to open up for him, McGinnis has the rest of his life to look forward to, filled with anything and everything one can expect from such a talented and driven individual. You can check out his official website, www.christophermcginnis.com,Twitter (@chrisnycvillage), and Instagram (chrisnycvillage).
The following is a Q&A with McGinnis:
Q: Do you listen to your own recordings?
A: Honestly, I never like to listen to my own music. I write all my own lyrics and music. It’s a process, so once it’s done, I record it in the studio and basically I only hear it if I am interviewed on the radio and the hosts plays it or if I have a concert coming up and the radio station plays it in the promo, and I happen to be listening to the radio.
Q: Is there any specific song you’ve written you’re especially proud of?
A: The song that I am especially proud of is called “I Look To My God.” What inspired me to write it was at first the Newtown Tragedy, then the Spytendival train crash, and just all the emotions you feel when you lose a loved one.
Q: Is there any artist out there you’d consider your “role model”?
A: I have a few role models and inspirations in music. I started off in the Jazz world at five years old, and I was inspired by my dad first! He introduced me to great artists like Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Michel Camilo. Then at seven, I was inspired by David Tong at the Juilliard School where I studied classical music privately by him. In the POP world, I’d have to say Billy Joel because of my being a piano player and songwriter.
Q: What do you consider your most significant accomplishment throughout your career?
A: My most significant accomplishment was being asked to sing and play piano three different times at Madison Square Garden before I turned 13 years old. I played at the basketball game of the Knicks, the Nets and the Lady Liberty’s.
Q: Has there ever been a moment when you’ve performed, where you just knew that this was the life for you? A: I think the most awesome moment that made me think it would be cool to do this all the time was when I performed in front of 3,000 people at a place called Terminal 5 in NYC last June. The audience was just so energized!
Q: Is there any specific style of piano you love most? To play or listen to?
A: I play all styles… jazz, Latin, classical and pop. My favorite style of piano to play is Latin. I like playing Montunos, Chic Chorea is my favorite Latin artist. I also like to play and listen to pop music.
Q: Aside from piano, what would you say is your favorite instrument?
A: Aside from piano, I really enjoy playing the organ. I was actually hired by the Catholic Archdiocese when I was 15 years old. I sing and play the organ for three different churches for mass. I am also hired to play for funerals, weddings, confirmations. I really enjoy the liturgical music. Singing and playing the organ in church has definitely been one of the highlights of my career.
Q: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
A: I really don’t know where I see myself. My whole life so far has been very interesting. I feel as if I am like a snail….slow and steady wins the race! [laughs]
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/