Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

Singing Ensemble Showcases Talents of the Disabled

VEE Group Shot

Hundreds gathered at the Shepherd Center auditorium on November 6th to enjoy the Voices Embodied Ensemble's kickoff concert. “Ain't No Mountain High Enough”, “My Girl”, and “I Am Beautiful” were a few of the performance pieces. Everyone was energized and having a great time, as audience members danced and clapped during the performance.

Charles MasonFortunately, I was made aware of this group via an announcement posted by former CVI President Subie Green. I auditioned, and was accepted into the Ensemble in August of this year. VEE has provided a tremendous confidence lift as far as my vocal talents are concerned. In college, I sang in many ensembles, including a cappella groups, a men’s chorale, and a gospel ensemble. I have longed for that camaraderie since graduating, and I am extremely happy to once again sing with fine vocalists while improving my craft.

VEE is a unique show style singing group that features singers who have physical challenges and wonderful voices. They perform some of the latest contemporary songs as well as classic songs across genres. Its creator, Myrna Clayton, is a seasoned and versatile jazz vocal stylist who formed VEE in March of this year. The goal is to have the ensemble grow to 12 singers, age 16 and older, consisting of soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts.

Charles and Myrna

Clayton's guidance, combined with the tutelage of Music Director Darrin Winters, has been invaluable and helped VEE to have a very strong start. "There’s certainly nothing like VEE out there, and what we’re hoping is that we begin to expose the tremendous talent found within the disability community,” said Clayton. “We want more physically challenged singers to come out to audition to be part of our Ensemble.”

Charles and Katherine singingVEE’s goals are to showcase awesome singers using their talents, inspire and empower audiences to use their gift,; boost confidence and break down barriers for all people. This is a truly one-of-a-kind ensemble. It is the only one in the country that is comprised entirely of vocalists who have physical challenges!

"We envision Voices Embodied Ensemble eventually being to music what Paralympic athletes are to sports--where the focus is more on the excellence of their abilities, rather than their disabilities,” said Clayton. “In fact, we look forward to possibly being part of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil."

VEE is a part of Abel 2 Inc., a non-profit organization which provides unique artistic programming for and with underserved populations. Abel 2 Inc. serves to empower, inspire and educate audiences to become agents of change in their own lives and those in their communities. We are seeking to grow in numbers and impact even greater audiences. If you want to expand your singing talent and become a fantastic addition to our Ensemble please contact us.

To schedule an appointment please email Abel2Nonprofit@aol.com or call 678-437-6897. To learn more log on to www.Abel2.org. We look forward to singing with you!

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