Piano Playing Duo’s Music Inspired by Faith and Family

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"The Piano brothers" (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Copyright 2020 The Piano Brothers. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Tim and Ryan O’Neill are nationally known pianists who credit much of their success to the encouragement and inspiration of their family and their Catholic faith. They grew up in the small town of New Prague, Minnesota, and are the youngest of five siblings. Their mom and dad, Kathy and Bob O’Neill, encouraged all of their children to try many activities at an early age, from hockey to basketball, piano lessons to band.

“Our Mom would set the timer to practice at least 30 minutes a day,” says Tim O’Neill. “As a teacher, she taught us the importance of practicing every day and to do our best.” She would always say, “You don’t have to BE the best, but you must TRY your best.”

The two brothers exceeded their parents’ expectations from a young age. Both Tim and Ryan attended the University of Notre Dame and after graduation, started recording CDs and established their music record label, Shamrock-n-Roll, Inc. In the late 1990s, they pioneered a partnership with JCPenney stores across the country, where they used computer modules to convert in-store pianos into player pianos, then created high-tech audio kiosks to play entire selections from their albums.

In 2004, the O’Neills began performing and selling their CDs on QVC. They’ve performed more than 100 times on the network, introducing their music to a whole new audience.

While the O’Neill Brothers first found success selling their hardcopy CDs and cassettes in stores, at craft shows across the country and at concerts, fans now find their music almost exclusively through downloads and online streaming sites like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.

Fans worldwide have embraced their music, including original compositions as well as covers of Christmas favorites, Christian and inspirational songs, Irish songs, classic and original love songs, lullabies, movie and Broadway songs, patriotic music, wedding music, and more.

Some of their most loved compilations include faith-filled songs such as “Catholic Instrumental Music” which can be found on Spotify. It includes a wide variety of instrumental, peaceful songs such as “Be Not Afraid,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” “Amazing Grace,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” “Were You There,” “Dona Nobis Pacem”, and “Lord of All Hopefulness”, “I am the Bread of Life” and dozens more.

“Our Catholic faith taught by our parents and by the wonderful Catholic schools we attended definitely encouraged us in our musical journey. The love and support from family, friends, and teachers led us to where we are today,” says Tim O’Neill.

"The Piano brothers" (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Copyright 2020 The Piano Brothers. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Over the past 25 years, piano-playing brothers Tim and Ryan O’Neill’s music has streamed online more than one billion times; sold more than 10 million copies of their songs; hit the Billboards charts multiple times and provided music for movies, NBC, CBS, HBO, PBS, and more. On Nov. 1, 2019, the duo was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.

The O’Neill Brothers have expanded; rather than only distributing their own music, they now help other instrumental musicians distribute their music as well.

Throughout their 25 years as professional musicians, Tim and Ryan have donated to several nonprofits included Gillette Children’s Hospital, The National Hospice Foundation, The National MS Society, American Cancer Society, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “Ryan and I are so grateful for all of the support that so many people have shown to us and our piano music over the past 25 years. We are glad to share our music and hope it brings hope, healing, and most of all joy to many people.”

For more information about the O’Neill Brothers, visit PianoBrothers.com.


Copyright 2020 Tim and Ryan O’Neill

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