Hollywood star Damian McGinty, who’s currently appearing in US television show Glee, has become the latest well-known Derry person to sign up as a ‘Cultural Champion’ for 2013 and says next year will provide a great chance for the city to showcase its talent to the world.
The 19-year-old actor said the city is “bursting at the seams” with terrific musicians.
““The City of Culture celebrations are going to be fantastic for Derry,” he declared. “Like everyone else I was so happy when the city won the honour of City of Culture for 2013. There are so many talented people and creatives in the city. I know that from my own experience of the music scene at home.
“The city is bursting at the seams with talented musicians and performers. Growing up in Derry you are surrounded by music and that played a big part in moulding me into the performer that I am today.
“City of Culture will provide the creative community in the city with the platform to display the wealth of talent that exists here, talent that those of us from Derry have been aware of.”
McGinty, who’s from the Buncrana Road area, has made a massive impact playing exchange student Rory Flanagan on the FOX TV smash hit Glee.
As co-winner of the ‘The Glee Project,’ Damian was guaranteed a seven-show stint on the FOX hit. But with a growing fan base, his time on the show has been extended. He will be back on our screens when the show returns for the rest of Season Three later this year.
His character Rory featured strongly in the Valentine’s Day edition of Glee this week, when Sugar picked the homesick Rory over Artie for her date to her Valentine’s Day couples’ dance. Rory sang Michael Bublé’s “Home” in what Hollywood Reporter described as one of the best scenes in the show.
The last year has been a hectic one for Damian but he did get the chance to come back home over Christmas. And he said he’s only too happy to promote Derry whenever he gets the chance.
“I’m really happy to have been asked to become a Champion for the City of Culture,” he said. “Even though I spend a lot of time working in the United States, I am always keen to get home at any opportunity, and I am very proud of my home city of Derry.”
Of course television stardom is just the latest chapter in Damian’s successful career in the entertainment industry. Having made a name for himself on local music circuit, in 2006 at just 14 he became part of Phil Coulter’s Celtic Thunder production and did four coast-to-coast tours of the USA and Canada with the band, who sold over one million CDs and DVDs as well as over 400,000 concert tickets.
His fans have watched with delight as he has progressed from the boy soprano who joined Celtic Thunder show as a schoolboy to the deep baritone he is today, essentially growing up before their eyes.