Fundraising concert helps music program for teens with special needs

Organization uses music as teaching tool

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - A concert at the Belly Up Tavern this Saturday will raise money for a program dedicated to kids with special needs.

Banding Together will hold their 7th annual fundraiser from 12-4 pm on February 24th. The concert features three local bands, and one special, surprise guest artist.

The bands are Dr. Seahorse, the Grinnell Trio and Jungle Poppins.

But the real stars will be the kids and young adults from the program, some of whom will perform with the bands on stage.

"It's thrilling for them," says Banding Together Co-Founder and Director Angela Meier. "They hear that people like the Rolling Stones have performed a show there and now they get to as well!"

The program uses music therapy to help people with special needs come out of their shell. Meier says it's inspiring and amazing to see how they progress.

"I've had students who have difficulty putting sentences together," says Meier. "And using rhythm and music, all of the sudden they're able to sing whole sentences."

In addition to individual and small group classes, Banding Together runs 42 "Jam Sessions" throughout the year, where the students and musicians join together to make music.

"It's not just that it's making them feel good, but it's giving them self-esteem," says Meier. "It gives them social skills and prepares them to go out into the community and give back."

The concert is open to the public and will also feature live auctions, silent auctions and other fundraisers. All the money goes to fund scholarships and to pay for the jam sessions. Over the previous six years, this event has helped the group give out 134 scholarships totaling $79,000.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the door, or here.

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