Eric Genuis and Bringing Hope to People Through Music

Eric Genuis grew up in Toronto, Canada and, like so many other Canadian kids, he loved to play hockey. He would grab his stick, run outside with his friends and neighbors, and play hockey in the street all day. Understandably, he was reluctant to cooperate when he found out that his mother and father had signed him up for piano lessons. “I’m not playing no piano while my friends are playing hockey,” he would say. Little did he know, that piano would become a door to a whole new world that he never suspected he would find himself in. But it was in that world where Eric discovered his vocation, his passion, and his love for bringing hope to forgotten people through the power of music.

John Morales welcomed composer and musician Eric Genuis onto Morning Air to discuss the power of music, Concerts For Hope, and the ways in which he touches the hearts of societal outcasts, criminals, and the homeless.

“It was a miracle: the more that I practiced, the better I got. Can you imagine that?” Eric joked. Though reluctant to give up his hockey stick for a piano, Eric soon found that not only was the piano a beautiful tool in capable hands, but he discovered that he, in fact, had capable hands! The better he got, the more he enjoyed it, and the more he enjoyed it, the better he got.

Even before the age of ten, Eric began to compose music and he equated his love for the process to a child’s love for Legos: constructing something that he found so beautiful brought him such unexplainable levels of joy and happiness.

“I feel grateful for every note that I perform and every note that I write,” said Genuis. “So, I’ve thrown my life at playing in very dark places, and I can’t think of a life better spent.”

By “very dark places”, Genuis is referring to his Concerts For Hope. He brings his ensemble to places like prisons, juvenile detention centers, and homeless shelters and plays free concerts for those who might otherwise be unable to experience such beauty. Genuis retold a story of just such a concert which he played for 300 kids at a youth prison, a place that holds kids who have been tried and convicted as adults.

“John, can you imagine: 300 kids that are going away for thirty-plus years? And the gang leader who was in the front row at the end of the show stood up and wept. And he said, ‘That violin is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Why have I never heard it before?’” This criminal who had been exposed to music his whole life – rap, hip hop, rock, metal, punk rock – knew everything there was to know about music, but he had never heard anything that had lifted his soul.

Genuis said of his work, “It’s not glamorous, but it is glorious.”

Genuis said he often receives letters of concern from people ashamed that he plays for criminals or associates with murderers, robbers, and gang members. But to Genuis, who else is he supposed to play for? Jesus said that whatever you do for the least of His brethren, you do for Him. The righteous are easy to love, but who is going to love the downtrodden, the forsaken, the outcasts, and the forgotten? Genuis intends to do God’s work by showing people with such broken pasts the light of hope through the beauty of inspired, classical music.

Genuis said he never charges for a concert. He only requests that his patrons give what they can to support his work and his ministry to the less fortunate. “I don’t want to die and stand before God and say, ‘Yeah, you know what? I made a lot of money using the gift you gave me. Thank you.’” No, to Genuis it’s far more important to be generous with those who grew up without love, without a stable family, without a good home, without beauty, without love.

What will we be able to say as we stand before God during our judgment? Did we use our talents to serve God and others? Did we sacrifice our comfort, possessions, and money to love those who were unloved by the world? What did we do with the gifts and blessings that God gave us? Did we treat ourselves, or did we treat Jesus in the least of His brethren?

For more information about Eric Genuis and for concert details, please visit

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.