Dallas Symphony + CancerBlows conducting debut!
I am beyond thrilled to be making by debut conducting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as a part of a special fundraising event for the organization “CancerBlows’. More info on this concert and the incredible and touching story of the fundraising efforts below.
I’ll be conducting the more classical portion of the concert, opening with Respighi's Pines of Rome, then pieces featuring the DSO trumpet section, international soloists Jens Lindemann, Allen Vizzutti, Jose Sibaja, and Canadian Brass. Afterwards the amazing Jeff Tyzik will conduct the pops portion with the UNT "One O'Clock" Jazz band with soloists Arturo Sandoval, Wyclef Gordon, and more!
In November 2012, Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet, Ryan Anthony had just completed a guest appearance with his old group, Canadian Brass and wasn’t feeling well. After the concert, Ryan said he felt like his entire body was “jangling” as he ran off-stage.
Recent chronic aches & pains had sent the then 43-yr old to multiple doctors searching for the cause. The Monday after the concert, Ryan & his wife, Niki got the call that no one is prepared for – especially with two young children in elementary school – Ryan had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a terminal cancer of the bone marrow that most often appears in patients 65 and older.
Just 15 years ago, multiple myeloma was a death sentence with a life span of 3-5 years. While the cancer is still considered incurable and terminal, recent, rapid advances in research have greatly extended the life span of newly diagnosed patients and hope for a cure is a real possibility.
During his stem cell transplant, Ryan was overwhelmed with phone calls from trumpet players all over the world. Each one asked what they could do to help, and Ryan jokingly started saying “we’ll all play a concert when I am healthy again and we’ll call it cancer blows”. As the weeks went by, the joke solidified into a real event with an impressive guest list. Soon Ryan & Niki realized it could be more than just something for fun but could be used to raise awareness and money to further the research that helped give their family a future.
CancerBlows was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime event in 2015 bringing together legendary trumpet players like Doc Severinsen from The Tonight Show, Lee Loughnane from Chicago, Arturo Sandoval and more for one night in Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center. However, the concert was so well received additional CancerBlows concerts have been held in San Antonio, Cleveland, Memphis and Dallas again.
When he was diagnosed, Ryan’s hope was to survive long enough to see his children, then just 6 and 11-years-old, graduate from high school. Unfortunately, Ryan was not able to make that goal, passing away in June of 2020, just three days before their oldest child graduated. But his tenacity created The Ryan Anthony Foundation, and his spirit lives on within it. Now Niki and the CancerBlows team are eager to get back to the mission and the music in his memory.