RockAbility holiday concert Sat., Dec. 10  at Berkshire High School Auditorium 

October 25, 2022, Geauga County – RockAbility, an adaptive, integrated music project for musicians with developmental disabilities, will be performing at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 10th at Berkshire High School Auditorium (14155 Claridon-Troy Road / Burton, Ohio 44021). The RockAbility holiday concert is free, but the group is accepting donations at the door to support the program.

RockAbility welcomes musicians with disabilities into performance-based musical projects. Participants have the opportunity to play and perform with mentor musicians who are actively performing and recording in various genres of groups throughout NorthEast Ohio. RockAbility was formed in January of 2022 and has performed in open-mic nights, local jam sessions, fundraising and special events. The group performs as a small ensemble or in its entirety 8-10 times per year.  The December RockAbility Holiday Concert will feature an appearance by Horvitz YouthAbility of JFSA Cleveland. 

RockAbility Holiday Concert

The first half of the RockAbility Holiday Concert will feature favorite songs RockAbility has honed over the course of the year. Probable selections include covers of well-known artists including Marshall Tucker Band, Barenaked Ladies, Roy Orbison, Elton John, Bob Marley and more. An intermission will allow attendees to have “RockAbility” temporary tattoos applied (free), meet local visual artists with disabilities and view their works, and purchase RockAbility T-shirts. The second half of the performance will feature popular and traditional holiday music including Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs. The audience will be invited to participate and sing-along.

What is RockAbility?

RockAbility is a performance-based musical project which integrates musicians with disabilities with local mentor musicians. RockAbility’s mentor musicians are local artists, many of whom have life experience with someone who has a documented disability. RockAbility places musicians with disabilities into situations where they can bring their existing skills to a project that can help elevate everyone’s abilities. All rehearsals and performances focus on musicianship and teamwork. Participants are expected to practice their parts ahead of rehearsals, which are devoted to learning how to put songs together, collaborate, problem solve, and compromise. 

RockAbility Goals

  • Increase confidence
  • Build community connections
  • Elevate self-advocacy
  • Establish & build touch-points with audiences
  • Demonstrate integration in action
  • Improve musical skills
  • Have fun and rock out!

RockAbility exists as a quality-of-life program for musicians with developmental disabilities so they can have something productive and constructive to do. It is offered free of charge to client musicians. NPower Services is grateful for the support of individual sponsors as well as the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Metzenbaum Foundation, and Jewish Family Services Association. 

What RockAbility isn’t:

RockAbility is not a music instruction organization run by music teachers. We do not gather during rehearsals to teach people how to become drummers, guitarists, singers, or play any other instrument. RockAbility is not intended to be a source of income for any client musician.

Inclusion and diversity in action

Musicians with documented disabilities who want to level-up their skills while working with our mentor musicians are welcome to contact us. A successful audition demonstrating an ability to play an instrument or sing is required to participate. Currently, space constraints prohibit the group from accepting everyone, however, the group is looking to expand services in a non-performance track. 

Mentor musicians provide guidance, suggestions, and musical camaraderie. They offer constructive suggestions to the clients who need help finding the beat, staying on pitch, or working out a few kinks in a solo. Often, mentors show up at practice early or stay late to help a client musician work on specifics. Although the emphasis is on spotlighting the musicians with disabilities, mentor musicians can step in and help carry the material as needed.

NPower Services thanks the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Metzenbaum Foundation, and Jewish Family Services Association for their generous support and sponsorship of RockAbility. This undertaking would not be possible without them.

About NPower Services

NPower Services helps adults with special needs build meaningful lives by identifying and finding opportunities including volunteering, employment readiness, athletics, art, music, service projects and socialization. Learn more:

NPower Services presents the first RockAbility Holiday Concert to be held at 7 p.m. , Sat., Dec. 10 at Berkshire High School Auditorium. All Ages. Free; donations accepted.