GRCC student 1 of 10 in nation to attend weekend retreat for blind musicians

GRCC Tyler Zahnke.jpg
Posted at 1:47 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 16:07:08-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) student has been selected to attend a special event featuring an American Idol finalist.

Tyler Zahnke, 25, is one of 10 blind musicians in the U.S. chosen to take part in a mentorship program in Arizona this weekend, according to GRCC.

We’re told Scott MacIntyre will be present at the retreat. MacIntyre was the first blind contestant to become a finalist on American Idol.

“We’re going to be doing some songwriting, singing, and we get to record an original song at the end of the weekend,” says Zahnke. “But I’m most excited about hanging out and networking with famous artists like Scott MacIntyre.”

GRCC says Zahnke taught himself how to play the piano at an early age and took lessons beginning at 10 years old. While in high school, the Grand Rapids native started composing and recording music from home. He has been pursuing an associate’s degree in music at GRCC since 2017.

The school says Zahnke wants to record an album, perform live and write music for television. He also wants to develop music software to help others like him.

“Living this life has made me more resourceful, and I think a lot of the challenges I’ve faced are being eliminated,” says Zahnke.

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