Benefit for School for Deaf Kids amuses with sound and vibration

By Robin Loving Rowland

So, there I was, at third call, the lights dimming in the Teatro Ángela Peralta, and the leader of Metales M5 Mexican Brass, a lovely man named Alex Freund, said to John Doherty, who created both the school and this benefit concert, “How about balloons?”

What? Yes, at the last minute, the very caring brass band leader Freund was suggesting to Doherty, for whom this was a first in concert production, that he get balloons for each of the deaf students to hold during the concert in order to feel more of the music.

I looked at Doherty. He smiled. Balloons appeared, as if by plan. That’s Doherty for you. And Freund. Caring men who will never stop until every good thought has been “thunk” – and acted on – for all who deserve ‘em.

And, on went the show – actually, four of them: three free for local youth from schools, children’s homes, etc. – and one for adults to help pay the freight to ensure that Escuela de Educacion Especial continues to provide outstanding services for outstanding youth who hear differently from the rest of us.

I had received all the publicity, and I had crafted promotions, and seats had filled, and people had applauded, but that was “nuttin!” The soul that Metales M5 put into their concerts lifted us all up to the heavens. As I commented to Doherty, I wonder how many people they have saved through music, for surely someone came in distraught, and left with the answer: lift up thine ears and receive glory!

Concerts are special events – special because they require participation between musicians up high and sometimes far away on stages and audience members. Without one or the other, there would be no concert, only a rehearsal. But, to put lots of kids who have no way of getting to the theater into lots of seats to ensure that the show goes on, well, that would be a logistical nightmare for most of us.

But, not for Maria Aguilar and Juan Camacho of Patronato Pro Ninos, who helped fill the theater with kids and chaperones, bless ‘em. And, besides the soulful sounds and funny-bone antics of Metales M5 Mexican Brass, audiences were treated to Emmy Award-winning composer Ken Bichel’s world debut of Spheres, a transcendent composition.

Introducing the concerts (read: rallying a bunch of kids who didn’t know what was coming at them…) were Jorge Catalán of Natura and Miguel Olvera of The Spanish School, two smart, caring, Mexican businessmen who volunteered to whip folks into a frenzy in order to receive the exciting sounds of Metales M5 Mexican Brass’s amazing antics and heartfelt music.

And, of course, the local Rotary Clubs came, for they know a transformative thing when they hear it, and they support Escuela de Educación Especial in its noble mission.

There were other supporters you and I are proud to have on “our” side, including Art Print, Café Contento, Camino Silvestre, Colors, Hanks, Longhorn Smokehouse, and The Restaurant. I hope their representatives were in the audience to hear Metales M5 Mexican Brass’s brilliant, charming, extraordinary, funny, innovative, joyous, magical, spectacular, unique, wacky, and wonderful concerts. And, to hear the Biblioteca’s children’s choir sing with Metales M5. And, to see the deaf students sign and dance with this world class brass.

If not, there will be another time, I predict. Freund of Metales M5 said, “You know, we have been coming here since 2008, and we want to continue coming, for we love the people of San Miguel so much!”

For more information, contact John Doherty, founder of Escuela de Educacion Especial, at, and enjoy the schools website at


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