A Band Apart: Special Needs Musicians Aim For World Stage

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OLD BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) – A group of flag wavers, rifle twirlers, drummers and other musicians may look like any other marching band at first glance.

But the FREE Players Drum Corps from Old Bethpage, New York, is composed entirely of adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.

The corps started in 2010 as a modest group of adults who wanted to learn the rudiments of drum playing. It now has 65 members.

That includes a drum line, color guard, and ensemble of guitars, keyboards and other instruments. A brass and woodwind section is being added this year.

They’ve performed at Disney World in Florida and marched in New York’s City’s Columbus Day Parade.

Now they are setting sights on playing an exhibition at the 2018 world championships in Indianapolis.

They have a GoFundMe fundraiser aimed at gathering the $65,000 it will cost to make the trip.

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