Rex & Friends Charity Gives VOICE to Musicians with Autism

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The VOICE grant awarded by Rex & Friends charity provides talented musicians, all of whom are on the autism spectrum, an opportunity to foster musical collaborations in a professional studio.

Following the success of their launch in Hollywood, Rex & Friends charity awarded the Vocal/Instrumental Concert Ensemble (VOICE) grant. VOICE provides gifted musicians attending Performing Arts Studio West (PASW) an opportunity for professional-level development of musical works in a small group setting. The grant will allow the musicians to work at the end of their school day in PASW's professional studio and to collaborate with their peers on ensemble show pieces, and to explore a variety of musical genres; classical, jazz, gospel, contemporary and rap. The grant is geared to foster musical collaborations between a handful of talented musicians, all of whom are on the autism spectrum.

VOICE and PASW support their musical development in a setting that not only promotes musical growth, but also life growth by providing a forum for friendship and professional collaboration. "Rex never got to be part of the small ensemble groups in high school," says Rex's mother Cathleen. "Because there was never anyone who could facilitate his working with his peers after school, he always had to audition solo, while all of the other high schoolers got to work together.”.

This VOICE grant is like a dream come true for him, to finally get the opportunity to make friends through music." Rex and Friends supports music therapy and education to those with blindness and autism, both of which are disabilities that tend to isolate. VOICE is geared to help bridge this isolation - to bring these musicians together - by providing on-going professional support and guidance to help them develop musical repertoire in an environment that is sure to grow friendships and self-esteem. All of the musicians supported by the VOICE grant most recently performed at Hollywood Forever with Grammy nominee Gabriela Montero and baritone Sam McElroy.

About Rex & Friends:
Rex & Friends is a Los Angeles, CA based charity formed with the mission to provide music therapy or education for individuals who are blind or autistic in Southern California. Through its annual charity concert, musicians who are blind or on the autism spectrum play alongside world renowned professional musicians. Rex & Friends has applied for 501c3 status with the IRS and formed as a California nonprofit public benefit corporation in 2012. The charity relies on private and corporate donations to fund operations. All staff and board members are unpaid volunteers.

Contact: Matt Wolf, President | rexandfriendsemail(at)gmail(dot)com |

About PASW:
Performing Arts Studio West (PASW) is a state funded day program for adults (18 years old and older with developmental disabilities). Since 1998, PASW has provided an environment where its participants can enhance self-esteem, social skills, and employment opportunities through participation in a performing arts curriculum combined with a vocational training component.

Contact: Randy Klinenberg, Managing Partner | Randy(at)pastudiowest(dot)com |


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Matthew Wolf
since: 11/2013
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