O’Hara rocks on with his band The Jury


Photo Courtesy Richard O'Hara

President Richard O’Hara plays the keyboard with his band at Sandstock in Timonium. O’Hara began playing the piano at the age of seven when his parents signed him up for classical piano lessons.

His fingers coursing with adrenaline, President Richard O’Hara pounds out the last song of the day, “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones, on his keyboard. The band finishes their set at Sandstock, a benefit concert in Timonium.

O’Hara has been playing the keyboard in his band, The Jury, since 2010. The band currently has eight members.

While The Jury is technically classified as a classic rock band, they play a wide variety of music, including rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, R&B, and country. Performances include famous Beatles’ songs, songs by Steely Dan, Temptations’ “My Girl,” and even contemporary songs like Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel.”

O’Hara began playing the piano at age seven when “[he] was pretty much told [he] was going to take classical piano lessons by [his] parents.”

By the time he came to JC, O’Hara had just left his band in Ohio and was looking for a new group to play with. He found The Jury through Director of Marketing & Constituent Relations Laura Lang, who introduced him to her longtime friend John Guthrie, guitarist and vocalist, class of ‘75.

“This is one of those small world stories. John Guthrie graduated with me in 1975. We both attended Loyola, where he and I had a duet in the ‘Rat.’ We’ve stayed close throughout the years, and I had a band in the ‘80s as did he,” Lang said.

Lang said after marriages and families, Guthrie, or “Gut,” started a band again in the early 2000’s.

“I would sing with them occasionally. In 2008, Gut asked if I knew any piano/keyboard players. O’Hara had just started as President, and he was telling me about his band in Ohio, and how much he was going to miss playing. I hooked them up and the rest is history,” Lang said.

According to O’Hara, he was introduced to Guthrie at a reunion where he offered to help out their band if they needed it, and within three weeks, Guthrie had asked him to play.

“I love playing music. Ultimately, the part I have always liked the most is helping people have fun, especially when they are dancing,” O’Hara said. “Music takes you away and puts you in a happy place.”

Hope Kelly is Editor-In-Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.