A Musical Evening

By Laura Lazar and Christen Kidd

Despite the soggy weather, friends of Music for Autism had the great luck of experiencing an evening of warm hospitality and wonderful music in an intimate setting at a gathering on Monday November 17th.

Dr. Priscilla F. Kauff graciously opened her beautiful home to Music for Autism for an evening of song, laughter, and gratitude. Guests were treated to very personal musical performances by Grease actress and producer Didi Conn, Academy Award and Grammy-winning songwriter David Shire, and Drama Desk Nominee soprano Lynne Winterstellar. After some savory and delicious hors d’oeuvres thanks to our wonderful host, Didi kicked off the concert with an interactive hand jive, making everyone smile and relax, and Lynne followed with a stirring rendition of Shire’s “Life Story” from the musical “Closer than Ever.” David performed “It Goes Like it Goes,” the song for which he won a 1979 Academy Award. In a poignantly personal way, Didi and David shared their experiences as parents to a young man with autism, both with its challenges and with the great joy of exploring the world through his eyes. There was not a dry eye in the house as Didi performed “Without a Single Word” about how a boy with autism, a character in a new animated children’s sitcom she created with David, makes friends with a curious little girl.

“Dr. Robert, your prescription for music is so meaningful to so many families”, remarked Didi, moved by the spirit of a truly magical evening.

Thanks to our gracious host, all guests were fed with a stream of the tastiest hors d’oeuvres, topped off with musically-themed cupcakes, making a sit-down meal entirely superfluous. Guests experienced a concert of extraordinary quality, of the caliber and personal nature of our interactive programs, allowing our guests a first-hand experience of what money raised makes possible for the families we serve.

Through the generosity of our friends that evening, Music for Autism managed to raise over $20,000. This amount will be matched by a challenge grant from an anonymous foundation, for which we are enormously grateful. We rely on donations to keep our work going and in honor of the season we hope our supporters will continue to recognize and benefit from our work. Please help us to beat our goal of $30,000 in just 4 weeks!

We thank everyone who came out on Monday, and those who contributed despite being unable to attend. A very special thank you to Dr. Kauff for making this memorable evening possible and to our extraordinary performers, Didi, Lynne and David, who generously shared their talents with us.