FALCONER — A local organization that usually takes to sporting fields to provide children with special needs new opportunities will be hitting the stage instead later this month.
Exceptional Stars Athletics is a group that usually provides children with special needs the opportunity to engage in athletic events that they normally would not have the chance to participate in. This time, however, the children will not be participating in a sporting event, but instead will be hosting a choir concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Levant Wesleyan Church, located at 1670 Lindquist Dr., Falconer.
Rich Bianco, Exceptional Stars Athletics director, said the organization was started in 2019 and has hosted nearly 20 sporting events like baseball, miniature golf and bowling.
“We’re looking to expand and do something other than sports,” he said about the group hosting a choir concert. “We feel strongly that music is a valuable part of a kid’s life. We wanted to give them this experience and see how it goes to see if we can give them more opportunities like this in the future.”
Bianco, who is a kindergarten teacher at Falconer Central School, said when he was growing up he was involved in choir and musicals, with his teachers installing a love of music in him.
“Instead of trying to teach the kids how to play an instrument, I felt this would be the easiest route to take,” he said.
For the group’s first choir concert, Bianco said they will hold five rehearsals before taking the stage for the choir concert. He said so far 32 people have signed up and will consist of special needs children and regular education students who are known as “regular ed buddies.” He added that regular education students always participate with the special needs children during the Exceptional Stars Athletics events.
“We’re excited to have 32 kids who have signed up to participate,” he said.
Bianco said the concert is free to attend, but donations will be accepted that will assist to fund future club events.
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