I’ve made such nice connections within our community this spring:
In February, I was honored to give several autism trainings for the Boulder Police Department, right in the middle of major snow storms – and was privileged to get an extensive tour of the BPD work-area including dispatch and firing range! During my years in school, I’d become friends with several policemen– their presence always helped me feel more secure, and I enjoyed sharing my jokes with them. I so appreciate what the officers do, and observing their workplace brought home the sacrifices that go along with that job. Thank you, Boulder Police!
In April, I returned to Regis University to give an autism presentation for psychology students – and would you believe it, one of my preschool classmates was there! Boy, was she surprised when I showed the slide about learning social skills in Waldorf preschool; there she was in a photo, along with our beloved teacher… That’s been a great thing about giving presentations around Colorado – I often run into old classmates who are now studying to become teachers, psychologists, or are focusing on special education; it’s eerie deja-vu, seeing them all these years down the road.
Next, The Mountain Ear ran an enthusiastic article for my May appearance at the Nederland Library. http://themtnear.com/2016/04/autistic-speaker-shares-journey-at-ncl/ My family has longstanding ties to the community, with a cabin in Eldora and my uncle living in the area; we love taking rides on the unique Carousel of Happiness, and our frequent forays to nearby mountains take us through town.
Just days later, I sang two concerts with Cantabile, a top-notch community-choir based in Boulder – I had auditioned for the bass section in February, and was invited to join. Our program focused on Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (plus some other works); powerful, moving music…I feel fortunate to be part of this group.
Around this time, the Daily Camera ran an article lauding my sensory-friendly “Boulder Phil & Benjamin” concert. http://boulderdailycamera.co.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=04f7f1e1c I indeed feel privileged to have been performing with such amazing musicians, emceeing, singing, and sharing anecdotes. That article got picked up by the League of American Orchestras as the lead story for their weekly newsletter, thus making it national news! Sensory-friendly is truly the newest “wave of the future,” and I’m honored to be on the leading edge of it, being guided by my mom’s creativity, support, and vision.
Happy Spring, and heads up for the Benjamin’s “Music Breaking Barriers” Project coming up: I’ve been rehearsing with nine of my Fairview High friends, preparing a sensory-friendly graduation-concert consisting of vocal acapella quartets from the 50’s and 60’s, plus the world-premiere of a choral composition by my mom! Saturday May 28 at 2:00, Manhattan Middle School auditorium (in Boulder, CO) Free admission, length about 1 hour. Please mark your calendars!