NORTH CREEK - Their mission is simple. To "change the world through music," defines who this unique group of performers are just as clearly as what they do.
On Friday, Jan. 23,the Johnsburg Central School PTSA will sponsor a concert featuring the band Flame from 6-8 p.m. in the school auditorium.
Flame was formed in 2003 at Lexington Center in Fulton County, New York, as a recreation program for the developmentally/physically disabled. It currently has 11 performing members with talents ranging from vocals, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, and dancing.
From humble beginnings, the popularity of the band soon grew to the point where they currently average nearly 100 paid performances per year.
The group features a song list of over 100 popular pop, rock, country, blues, and standard favorites. Thanks to their growing success, they have two "strong selling" CDs and a very busy tour schedule.
"They are a phenomenon that inspires people and changes the way the general public view people with disabilities," a Flame press release said. "People of all ages and backgrounds connect with this talented band."
Johnsburg PTSA event coordinator, Brandy Richards, discovered Flame through her work with Hamilton County Community Services. Their performance touched her so deeply that she seized the opportunity to help coordinate the group's visit to Johnsburg Central School.
"The band is rather unique as it is made up of several individuals with disabilities ranging from autism and blindness, to down syndrome," Richards said. "I have had the pleasure of seeing them on several occasions before, and they are magnificent and incredibly inspiring."
While the band's ability to entertain speaks for itself, Richards was equally struck by the student audience's openness to the performance.
"Having any musical talent at all is amazing in itself, but when you add that to the limitations that these individuals have, the experience to watch them perform is certainly a sight," she added. "I have seen them perform at different schools and I was quite surprised at the reaction of the students, especially teens. They are truly amazed and in awe of their talent and their drive to succeed."
Tickets for Flame are $5 for adults and $3 for students and will be available at the door.