World-Renowned Guitarist Raises the Roof with Performance
Posted on 01/28/2020
Certain to be one of the highlights of an already eventful year, students raised the roof with song and laughter as world-renowned guitarist and inspirational speaker Tony Melendez sang and played the guitar.

What makes this performance especially unique was the fact that Melendez played the guitar with his feet. Born without arms, he struggled in early life but through his determination and positive outlook was able to overcome, turning his disability into a gift from God that has helped him to inspire millions in 44 countries. His talents were first recognized on the world stage at a performance for St. John Paul II at World Youth Day in 1987 and since then he has traveled around the world to spread his message of hope to students, adults, and world leaders.

The performance was filled with both moments of joy and moments of serious reflection. Melendez opened the event by asking students to stand up and shout out the name of someone whom they love. After that, he got the entire crowd laughing by telling them to untie their neighbor’s shoe, scratch someone’s back, retie the shoe, and finally share a hug. This was followed with students taking the microphone and sharing a message of inspiration with the student body. As the assembly went on, Tony and his brother Jose shared their stories of growing up in Nicaragua and their experience with Tony’s disability as children. Tony sang the Hail Mary followed by an original song about respecting life and loving everyone, even when it’s not easy. He also performed an STA favorite: Trading My Sorrows.

The energy of the concert, which seemed to be over much too soon, could be felt throughout the building. Sophomore Jennifer Rihacek commented on the performance afterwards: “Tony taught us that people can do anything no matter the setbacks they face.” Senior Vittoria Bertini added, “It was awesome! I thought we were just going to listen, but Tony made sure to involve everyone throughout.”
Drama teacher Mrs. Lea Gossett added her impression of the event by saying, “I genuinely thought that the presentation was humbling, eye-opening, energizing, fun, and touching. It was a beautiful way to spend time together as the STA family. We are blessed that he was able to share his talents and message with us and I am thankful that the administration made this happen for everyone in our school.”

St. Thomas Aquinas High School was indeed blessed to be able to host Tony Melendez and his brother Joe and witness their talents and message not only during Catholic Schools but on the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas as well.

Tony Melendez Concert