Thumbs up for the Belly Up- FUNdraiser

        My outlook on fundraisers has usually been that they are a necessary evil. I often viewed them as the time of year when a non-profit would have to shmooze up to the rich and affluent in the hopes that they would donate enough money for the non-profit to continue to provide whatever services that may be. However, this past weekend I came to see fundraisers very differently as I had the pleasure of being a part of a fundraiser, Greatest Hits, for Banding Together, a non profit that provides music therapy opportunities to those that may not have access to it other wise. The fundraiser was held at the Belly Up, a concert venue in Solana Beach, California. It featured a live auction, donor board, wine and beer pull, as well as variety of live musical performances. The event sold out for the first time in its nine year history thanks to the support of local grammy award winning musician and avocado farmer, Jason Mraz.

        As the events of the fundraiser progressed and money was raised I noticed something. People were excited to give and be a part of Banding Together’s mission. The community atmosphere was palpable as clients participated as “hype men” (a.k.a. The ones building up the excitement in the room by cheering the event along) for those around them, cheering on donors as over $60,000 was raised to make a difference for those with special needs to experience music opportunities. Those that gave, gave generously because they believed in the cause. It was as I looked around at the excitement on everyone’s faces, those giving and those volunteering, that I noticed my previous perspective changing. Those attending the event were not there to be an ATM. Instead, they were there to stand with Banding Together and share in the mission. The Greatest Hits fundraiser was meant to showcase the individuals who benefit from the programs, why it matters, and what fruit partnering together will produce and it did so exceedingly well. I will without a doubt look back on it with the fondest of memories.

-Noriah Uribe MTI

 

jason maraz at the bellyup

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Autism Speaks Walk 2016

We had a blast this morning at the Autism Speaks Walk! I cannot imagine a better way to spend my last day of internship. It was an honor to join in with this amazing community, advocating for individuals with autism. Moreover, it was an honor to perform on stage with The Kingsmen, The Yakety Yaks, and members of the Jam Session program. These talented teens and young adults showed me and everyone at the walk what it looks to overcome stage fright, to work hard, to be an amazing team member, to be proud of your accomplishments, and to HAVE FUN!

Check out these awesome musicians!

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  • Chiara

 

Shine.

This weekend marked a celebration – many friends gathered together to share in the joy of Reid Moriarty and his family over the completion of Reid’s newest album, “Shine”.

Shine album

Reid has been a client of Angela’s at The Music Therapy Center for many years and several of the songs from this album were ones they wrote together (with the help of many other talented musicians!)  It is a worship album that tells a beautiful story of the hope, joy, and fulfillment that Reid has found in God.  Over 14 musicians came together to be a part of this project – from writing the songs, to recording in the studio, to mixing the finalized product – and had the privilege of celebrating the end result at yesterdays “Listening Party”  hosted by the Moriarty’s.

Reid at listening party

Listening Party fun Shine

I have had the pleasure of working with Reid during my internship and am constantly amazed at his creativity, genuine care for others, and love of life.  He will make your day with just a few words, guaranteed!

If you’re interested in buying Reid’s album as well as learning about any of his upcoming gig’s and other projects, please visit: http://www.reidmoriarty.com/

Reid, you are truly an inspiration and I’m so grateful that I came to know you during my time at MTCCA.

Keep on shining!

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-Marissa

A season of Rock Stars!

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This past week, Banding Together’s Spring season of Jam Sessions came to a bittersweet end.  Throughout the past 5 months of being an intern, Jam Sessions became one of my weekly highlights and I will treasure some very special moments and memories from my first season being a mentor with Banding Together.

This Jam season I learned to watch, listen, and learn (in that order!).  I truly learned so much from observing the mentors/volunteers interact with and encourage participants as well as from participants being genuine friends to one another.  In my experience as an intern, so often I am jumping into things – taking leadership and problem solving – that this experience proved to be a very important opportunity for me to sit back and learn from watching others.  The patience, wisdom, and gentle, humble leadership I observed in other mentors taught me to be more aware of myself and to consistently encourage clients to be the absolute best they can be.

Another highlight from this season, was having the privilege of seeing participants experience such excitement and sheer joy when Jason Mraz performed as a Guest Musician.  This was such a special night of sharing in music with someone who has touched the world with his message and gift.  Thank you, Jason!

Lastly, Jam Sessions proved to be a complete blast!  The dance moves, the drum circle grooves, the action leader skills, personalities shining through with solos or at the mic, the relationships deepened and laughs shared… for me it was a true expression of the power and joy of making music with others.

On a final side note, Chiara and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while taking the “Dress up as your favorite rock star!” prompt to heart.  Enjoy these pics of us as Jelena (Justin and Selena), Sonny and Cher, and Billary (Bill and Hillary).  (Oh, the many perks of being an intern!)

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That’s a wrap for our Spring session – here’s to another great one this fall!

Cheers!

-Marissa

The Coolest Internship EVER

banding together secret show

Banding Together’s Jam Sessions provide youth with special needs with an opportunity to come together for a one-hour jam session where we play drums, sing songs, dance and have a great time with friends. After EVERY Jam Session, I leave feeling completely inspired, full of enthusiasm for life and a heart full of love and appreciation. I always feel incredibly grateful to be involved with this organization but I also feel the desire to share it with others. I want everyone to know how amazing these youth are and how music therapy allows them to shine at their brightest.

On February 12th, 2016 that desire to share with others became a reality. Banding Together was recognized by professional skateboarder/snowboarder, two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White and his band Bad Things! We were invited to a secret show by Bad Things, sponsored by San Diego’s local radio station 91X. We all arrived and got to hang out with the members of Bad Things, rock out with them, take pictures with Shaun White and just plain ol’ have a good time. The best part of it all was getting to see the Jam Session participants in an inclusive environment, thrilled by this unique and exclusive opportunity just for them

When I started internship, I had no idea that I would get to hang out with the coolest people ever and get to go to events with celebrities sponsored by radio stations! Every week I get to jam and hang out with the best of the best! This is definitely one of my top internship highlights.

-Kristin