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Fundraiser Brings Benefits Of Music To Those With Special Needs

FERNDALE (WWJ) – A local fundraiser this Sunday in Ferndale  will help benefit artists and musicians of all abilities, especially young people  who are sick or have special needs.  18-year-old  Farmington Hills native Callaghan Belle is the featured performer at the Axis Music Foundation fundraiser, Sunday December  15th. Belle says she got interested in pursuing a music career after playing for her cousin, who has special needs.

“I would go to my grandma’s house and play guitar for my cousin, who has Down’s Syndrome,” said Belle.  “He would bang on my guitar and tell me to play more. It’s extraordinary to see the power of music.  It really is the universal language.”

For seven years, Belle has been involved with Axis Music Academy, performing at showcases around Southeast Michigan. She now serves as Axis Music Foundation Student Ambassador.  In early 2012, she got her big break when she  reached out  on Facebook to Grammy-award winning music producer Ken Calliat, the father of singer Colbie Calliat. That email led to a trip to Los Angeles to meet with Calliat.  He apparently liked what he heard.  Belle wound up writing a few songs for Colbie Calliat, and one of them wound up on her Christmas album last year.

Axis Music Foundation  Executive Director Andrea Antone says she is constantly amazed at how young people with disabilities embrace music. “Whatever walk of life these kids are going through, giving them an opportunity to see a live a performance,  to dance,or be part of a music program, it’s so awesome.” said Antone.

Money raised through the upcoming concert supports programs, such as vocal performance and music discovery, which are offered at no cost to children with special needs.

The fundraiser will also feature an art exhibit benefiting “Paint-a-Miracle” studio in Rochester.  The event is being held Sunday, Dec. 15, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Local Kitchen & Bar on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for those 18 and younger.

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  • Testimonials

    “The Axis Music Foundation helps kids discover the power of music education and exposes them to some really cool stuff.l”
    –Nick Antonelli – Jr. Instructor and Student Ambassador

    “The partnership with Axis Music Foundation is a unique opportunity to enhance relationships with families in our community. Both Axis and Habitat are working together to improve the quality of life in Oakland County.”
    –Tim Ruggles – Habitat for Humanity – Oakland County, MI

    “Axis helped me discover my strengths, and build on them. It’s a great academy, and I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. Axis is an amazing music foundation. The teachers know exactly how to relate to the students and build on their strengths.”
    –Sami Lofman