Inner Banks Music Academy performs for the blind

Published 8:14 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

Six students from Inner Banks Music Academy performed for the blind and visually impaired on Tuesday, as part of a new partnership with the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington.

“The clients had already asked before they were out the door if and when they could come back,” said Liz Liles, executive director of the Blind Center.

Liles said when one of the nonprofit’s volunteers was sharing the opportunities about the Blind Center to the music academy, she wanted to develop that community partnership and give her clients the chance to hear the music.

Liles said her clients not only enjoyed the music, but also the opportunity to be around children.

“They love having children. A lot of them … they don’t get to be around them. They all sort of gravitate to the children,” she said.

The students at Inner Banks Music Academy sang a variety of songs from different genres. Some took to the piano and covered pop songs, some performed whimsical tunes, and some performed a version of Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road.”

Liles said she thinks the students from the music academy enjoyed the experience, as well.

“One of the young girls who sang towards the end of the event, she actually just went to each one of the clients and gave each one of them a hug,” Liles said.

She said opening up the center for just an hour and allowing children to share their gifts and talents was extremely valuable and helped make her clients feel less isolated. One of the students even showed interest in coming back to volunteer, according to Liles.

Liles said she has nothing but gratitude for each organization that has reached out and offered opportunities to the blind and visually impaired.

“With each business organization we have connected with, they are willing to accommodate and make certain the clients that we serve are not excluded,” Liles said. “It’s just a heart for the people.”