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Benefit Concert Aides The Barell Schoo

Local Artists Hit A High Note For Autism

The Martin C. Barell School in Wantagh was a big beneficiary as leading folk-rock singers and songwriters Peter Case and Joe Iadanza recently struck a chord for autism awareness during The Mosaic Foundation for Autism Inc.’s Performing Artists for Autism Education Inaugural Concert. 

Featuring an evening of live entertainment, the concert benefited not only the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, which contains the Barell School, but also The Genesis School (Eden II Programs), and The Mosaic School for Autism, three organizations that are currently hard at work attempting to improve outcomes for children with autism as they move from adolescence into adulthood.

“I am incredibly touched by Peter’s and Joe’s huge hearts and great generosity,” said The Mosaic Foundation for Autism Inc. Founder and President Laurie Murdock.  “It is so refreshing to see these great, talented musicians taking time out to support our cause and it is equally uplifting to see so many people come out and participate. Their unity embodies the ‘take a village’ approach that is so needed within today’s autism community. Their support has not only allowed us to promote autism awareness but has essentially invested in the hopeful and meaningful futures of today’s children with autism.”

In addition to Case’s and Iadanza’s participation and people’s attendance, various organizations rose to the occasion to show their support through sponsorship. Among the concert sponsors were Autism Speaks, Different Roads to Learning, and Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America.

Throughout the evening, Case rocked the house with his own blues-inspired brand of folk-rock music while Iadanza warmed the crowd with his uplifting folk ballads. Reminding everyone of the hopeful futures they are supporting for children with autism, Case and Iadanza culminated the show with a special finale that featured a collaborative performance with 16-year-old Rachel Paine, a student with autism from The Mosaic School for Autism. The three of them proudly performed Case’s inspirational tune, “Two Angels,” from his album, The Man With the Blue Post Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar.

Ms. Paine was very excited to be a part of the concert and its mission. “I love music,” she said. “I want to be able to use my music to help other children with autism.”

Three-time Grammy-nominated Case and Iadanza, who took time out from his touring in U.S. and Europe to lend a hand to support the autism community, both felt that Paine’s performance was an inspiration and proof positive of the amazing abilities that children with autism can possess.

“Rachel’s performance was truly the hit of the night,” said Case.

“Because of the amazing community surrounding Rachel, she has a real chance to grow and thrive,” explains Iadanza. “The hope and joy that filled the room after Rachel’s performance is proof-positive that everyone matters and has something important to give back to the world. It was an honor to be part of this event and this special performance.”