Ryan Anthony was world-renowned for his bringing the most amazing sounds out of a trumpet. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra was lucky indeed when they managed to have him join its musical ensemble in 2004. In many ways, Ryan was too good to be true with his movie star looks, his boy-next–door personality and his too-good-for-words family.
What many didn’t realize was that Ryan was also a warrior. Perhaps Ryan didn’t even know it until he faced a battle with multiple myeloma back in 2012. Time and time again he rose to the challenge going through painful treatments, having his strength sapped away at times, gaining and losing weight and beating the odds time after time.
But he wasn’t going to focus on himself. He was going to rally the troops to learn about this deadly cancer and join his battle. In 2014 he and his wife Niki Anthony created The Ryan Anthony Foundation to support research and treatments for multiple myeloma.
To get funding going, he called on some of the country’s finest horn blowers for a fundraiser — CancerBlows, in 2015. He was tireless in ramping up support for the event, from signing letters to performing at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board’s quarterly meeting.
Needless to say, the sold-out fundraiser was a blowout of an event.
When NorthPark celebrated its 50th anniversary that same year, in 2015, he performed “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning” and “Gabriel’s Oboe” at the kickoff and received a standing ovation.
The following year was a busy year for Ryan. In addition to performing with the DSO, he was the keynote speaker at the Business Council for the Arts’ Obelisk Award Luncheon in 2016. He was so good that he returned for a second year to blow his horn.
In 2018 Niki and Ryan were the honorary co-chairs of the DSO Gala. When Niki arrived with a bald man, some wondered if she’d had a substitute date for the night. No, it was a smiling Ryan, who had lost his hair due to a recent treatment.
Behind the scenes Ryan and his family were going through a rollercoaster existence of remissions and relapses, but few people knew of the tough times because that Anthony smile was always there.
For the past eight years, Ryan fought the battle with grace, strength, courage and determination. And while the 51-year-old did succumb to this deadly disease this past Tuesday, he proved to be a mighty warrior with a horn and a smile.