The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 19th

Push Play Sing concert showcases performers with disabilities

(CROP OUT THE TWO PEOPLE ON THE LEFT) Steve Schlosser (left), 58, and Alex Feltch, 25, who comprise the band Sonic Impact, perform at Push Play Sing, an event that provides musical engagement for people in the community with developmental disabilities. The event took place at the Chapel Hill Community Center on Friday, April 14.
Buy Photos (CROP OUT THE TWO PEOPLE ON THE LEFT) Steve Schlosser (left), 58, and Alex Feltch, 25, who comprise the band Sonic Impact, perform at Push Play Sing, an event that provides musical engagement for people in the community with developmental disabilities. The event took place at the Chapel Hill Community Center on Friday, April 14.

Push Play Sing, a Chapel Hill-based organization, hosted the evening of live music which featured performers with disabilities.

Max Puhala, the co-founder of Push Play Sing, said the program connects different kinds of people through music. He said they focus on high-needs communities, such as ones with at-risk kids or people with disabilities.

“We’re lucky enough that we get to see this sort of magic every single day — where we get to see music and how it really brings someone out of a rut,” he said.

Puhala and co-founder Berk Ozturk lead weekly music programs. This event is the only event open to the public that they lead during the year.

“It’s always a cool thing to let everyone from the public get a look into what our workshop usually looks like,” Puhala said.

Puhala said the program is unique because it allows for anyone and everyone to make music together and learn how to be creative.

“It’s not something that a lot of places in the world have, and we feel very fortunate to be able to organize it for Chapel Hill and the surrounding area,” he said.

Alex Feltch, also known as “Sonic AL,” performed with his two-man band “Sonic Impact” at the event.

He performed three songs, one of which was “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger.

“It felt really beautiful to play in a concert, especially with my band Sonic Impact,” Feltch said. “Music is a total healer for everybody.”

After Feltch performed the first three songs of the concert, another performer played his own rendition of “A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes.” As he played, more members with disabilities joined in. Eventually, instruments were passed around until the audience was also participating in the music.

Gwen Collman, an attendee at the event, said her son plays music with Puhala and Ozturk every week at one of their programs.

“I think it’s great for everybody to know that everybody has some talent and can enjoy music,” Collman said.

Brittany Long, an employee of Residential Services Inc. in Carrboro, said she was there to support many of her residents that were performing in the concert.

“I really love what Push Play Sing does, it’s a really big part of helping everyone learn,” Long said. “Honestly, it just gives you insight to the possibilities that are out there.”

Puhala said it’s wonderful to see people with disabilities be just as capable and creative as any other music performer would be on stage.

“This isn’t really something that you ever see,” he said. “It’s not something that these people get a chance to do.”

Puhala said it is always a great moment to showcase the talents of people with disabilities.

“Yes, they have disabilities, but they are just as talented and impressive as pretty much anybody who can go up there and play music.”

city@dailytarheel.com



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