Local Christian musician, now in Nashville, performs at Portsmouth Abbey


PORTSMOUTH — Christian rock musician Ryan Tremblay recently performed a concert for the students and faculty of Portsmouth Abbey School.
Tremblay, a Rhode Island native and lifelong Catholic, grew up in a musical family, and was inspired by this to pursue formal musical training at a young age. As a teenager, he auditioned for the band associated with his local parish youth group, which set off a chain of events that led him to enter a career as a Christian musician.
Due to the struggles associated with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Tremblay shifted his emphasis away from performing and towards teaching, taking up a position as a music teacher at Our Lady of Mercy Parish school in East Greenwich, while also working as an organist at St. Lucy’s Parish in Middletown. In 2022, Tremblay and his family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, a center for Christian rock, where his career as a recording artist and performer underwent a renewal. Most recently, in the summer of 2023, Tremblay was also asked to perform at World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal.
Tremblay had originally planned to perform a Christmas concert at Portsmouth Abbey School in 2020, but was prevented from doing so due to Covid-related restrictions. As he was returning to Rhode Island in early December for a series of concerts, retreats and clinics in the area, he reached out to Portsmouth Abbey School to perform a Christmas concert.
Performing before a packed audience of cheering students, Tremblay performed a series of hits, many of which were inspired by the deep influence of his Catholic faith, as well as personal experiences ranging from the birth of his triplet sons to the death of his sister. Interspersed in his setlist were a series of classical Christmas songs. The concert even included a performance with the student choir of Portsmouth Abbey School.
The intersection of faith and music was something strongly emphasized by those present.
Alaina Xhing, a junior at Portsmouth Abbey School, described it as an honor to perform with Tremblay.
“It was a very precious opportunity, because all of us thought that it was a normal performance until we came here and saw everything and saw Ryan himself. It was so amazing, and I really feel that being a part of the performance is truly something that is a highlight of my Abbey school life.
“I have never thought that faith and music could be together until now. I mean, who else could yell ‘Amen’ in the middle of a concert until we’re here,” Xhing said.
For Tremblay, the experience was quite meaningful.
“It was amazing, and really breathtaking, the fact that the Portsmouth Abbey community was so welcoming and so receptive to what it is that we sought to do tonight, which was to play spiritually uplifting music in a high energy way,” Tremblay noted.