An Israeli band of eight musicians with disabilities has played to Britain’s future leaders at prestigious Eton College, with students dressed in suits and tails.
The Shalva Band includes musicians with Down syndrome, autism, and various physical handicaps, who have travelled the world with a message of inclusion and hope. At the Shalva dinner the following evening, £450,000 was raised for children with disabilities.
The performance was heralded by the Prefect from the Jewish Society who stated “It is a true privilege that they have come to perform,” he said.
“What they do to advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities, the important programmes and the care that each kid receives at the Shalva Center in Israel, is truly extraordinary.”
Rev. Daniel Bond, the chaplain of Eton College, said: “It was an evening of profound importance and joy. I’m yet to fully reflect on how significant and wonderful it was for the boys to witness and engage with so many things in one event.”
The band’s director Shai Ben-Shushan said when the band was established over ten years ago, it was simply an expansion of Shalva’s music therapy programme.
“Today the Shalva Band is an international icon for inclusion and a real example of the amazing things that can happen when you empower people’s abilities and believe in their potential,” he said. “This is a message that everyone can relate to, whether or not they have disabilities.”
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