Arlington band for developmentally disabled makes music magic



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Posted on December 27, 2011 at 6:58 PM

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- "My thoughts seem to flow out of my fingers," said Frank Barden, who's been writing short biographies on the men and women he's getting to know and love.

"Yeah, yeah. They do have a story."

And what a story. Thanks to Village Community Services in Arlington, every Friday afternoon, men and women from the area who are developmentally challenged pick out their instruments and start playing.

Music director John Dalgarn says magic happens every Friday afternoon.

"Who doesn't want to be in a band?" he asked. "Music is a universal language. I think everybody loves it."

No question about that. We saw that immediately. Frank is writing about it.

"I don't know any other way to memorialize them than this way because some day there will be a short little obituary or something about them and that's it. And no one will ever know that they affect an awful lot of lives," said Frank, who's already written eleven bios. He has 8 more to go. "I've learned that they're far more accepting of us than we are of them."

Frank is hoping to turn the biographies into a book with proceeds going to the Village Community Services, which runs the music program for the men and women.

He'll call the book "Voices of the Village," which is also the name of this inspirational band.

"He's a guy from the community that just fell in love with us," said Vicki Adams, a parent.

And the feeling is mutual. The men and women love this man who took an interest in them and is now writing about them.

"Now let's see if I can say this without crying," said Vicki Adams. "He says he wanted to write a story because he didn't want any of us to be forgotten. No one has ever said that to us before."