Michael’s Talent Show: A Tale of Community Support

Michael’s journey stands as proof of the impact of music and community support. It’s a story of how a saxophone ignited change.

Michael found a haven at the University Health Behavioral Health New Frontiers program. The program provides a day setting with structured groups that focus on topics including self-esteem, mental health, nutrition, physical wellness, music therapy, and independent living skills.

Program Director Mark VanMeter said, “When I learned of this young man’s love for the saxophone and watched his eyes light up when we talked about it, I came to the realization that his pathway might very well be the one to bring him back into his community and back into a fuller life. Michael had played in school bands but always had to give his loaner instrument back at the end of the term. His family was not in a position to cover the cost of an instrument and so Michael had been without this support in his life for some time. For over a year, we attempted to find a way to bring a saxophone back into his life and then we heard about Band of Angels.”

In December 2022, Michael, his mom, little sister, and Mark and his wife came to pick up the saxophone. Michael’s joy was palpable. He had an instrument to call his own.

In June 2023, a setback occurred. The saxophone broke just before a talent show. Michael and his Mom called Band of Angels. The Band of Angels called upon Meyer Music’s dedicated staff and repair network and they performed a miracle. The saxophone was repaired in record time so Michael could be ready for his Talent Show!

July 2023 brought the talent show. Michael took the stage. The saxophone, cradled in his hands, became an extension of his soul. The music spoke volumes. It was more than a performance; it was a testament to resilience and community.

His mother, Leila, noted the transformation. “Getting the saxophone is one of the best things that ever happened to him. I’m so glad he got it. It’s just been such a blessing; it’s really helping him overall. He’s been a lot happier and active. For example, getting him to even go to the program before was like pulling teeth. Now, fast forward to today. This morning he got ready so fast that I didn’t see him. I had to call the program to make sure he arrived!”

Michael’s story isn’t just about music. It’s about community. Band of Angels and New Frontiers Behavioral Health played vital roles, offering not just an instrument, but a chance at a better future. Through this journey, we’re reminded of the power of unity and music’s ability to heal.

Our supporters – like you – make Michael’s journey possible. Thank you for being a monthly Love Notes Donor!

Michael’s Journey: A Timeline

2021-2022: New Frontiers Behavioral Health director, Mark Vanmeter, begins the search for a saxophone for Michael.

December 2022: Mark discovers Band of Angels and applies.

December 2022: Michael receives his own saxophone, a turning point in his journey.

January 2023: New Frontiers has a volunteer come regularly to work with Michael on saxophone.

June 2023: The saxophone faces an unexpected setback, but Meyer Music and Band of Angels swiftly collaborate for repairs.

July 2023: Michael shines on stage at a talent show, demonstrating the fruits of his determination and community support.

August 2023: Leila, Dawn, and Mark talk to see if Band of Angels could provide private music lessons.

Access to musical instruments and education programs are needs we serve all year long. To meet these needs please consider joining Band of Angels monthly giving program, Love Notes.