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.