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Special Needs Drum Corps Joins Columbus Day Parade

If you were one of the millions of viewers who tuned into the Columbus Day Parade last week, you may have witnessed the making of history without knowing it. This year, the Columbus Day Parade welcomed its first special needs drum corps, “FREE Players Drum Corps” to participate in this famed event. The 65-member group, comprised of a color guard, drum line, and front ensemble hails from Old Bethpage and is led by Brian Calhoun.

The members of the group consists of children on the autism spectrum, children with Down syndrome and children with other developmental disabilities. They are all able to read sheet music and practice both individually and collectively twice a week.

The members and staff are both agree that they enjoy participating in events such as the Columbus Day Parade and see no end in their future. They hope to continue breaking down barriers and spreading their message that everyone can communicate through music.

If you are looking for programs similar to Brian’s for your child with special needs, click here.  At The Theresa Foundation of Performing Arts our primary goal is for the children to experience the joy of dance, drama, art, and music. There are many other benefits to the children who participate including improvement in coordination, overall fitness, focus, listening, balance, self-esteem, self-expression, rhythm, and musicality. Find out more or learn how to get involved.

By Marissa Kleiner– Guest Blogger

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