Few musicians can boast a 10 minute standing ovation after their first performance before a large audience. But, Aleks Prez, 14, can claim that honor and relive the memory for the rest of his life.
Aleks, an avid Beatles and Rolling Stones fan, realized his dream as a musician by performing in Indianapolis with United Sound, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship.
The North Cobb High School student became the first from Georgia to participate in the United Sound Honor band.
“He was the star of the show,” said Ashley Dinkel, a NCHS Autism Teacher who joined him on the trip. “He was bowing to everyone during the standing ovations and shouting to his mom from the stage.”
Aleks plays percussion and “is always playing air drums”, said Dinkel.
He travelled to Indianapolis with NCHS Chamber Orchestra which performed at the Music for All Festival.
In January, NCHS became the first school in Georgia to become a part of United Sound. Aleks is one of 12 special needs students who practice with the school’s band twice a week.
“United Sound is an after school club which teaches special needs students to play musical instruments through a peer mentorship program. The new musicians are paired up with 3 mentors who work on rhythm and playing with the new musicians teaching them fundamentals of music and modifying parts as needed for the new musician to be successful,” Dr. Paula Krupiczewicz, D.M.A., NCHS Fine Arts Department Chairperson.
“We are proud that our school has a band to include all students,” said Dinkel.
All 12 of the students in United Sound at North Cobb High will perform at North Star Church on Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.
For more information on United Sound, go to unitedsound.org.