When Evangel takes to the stage, she has a feeling that many people with intellectual disability seldom experience in their lives. She feels powerful.
The Logan teenager is one of the lead singers of the KingStones, a new band out of the Kingston Learning and Lifestyle Hub, already living their dream and discovering what’s possible with a bit of passion and determination.
By purchasing tickets in an Endeavour Foundation prize home lottery, you’re supporting services like our Learning and Lifestyle Hubs which provide people with intellectual disability, like the KingStones, the opportunity to develop independence, self-esteem and pursue their dreams.
The KingStones’ first live performance was at Endeavour Foundation’s Battle of the Bands concert. The culmination of months of rehearsals with their support workers Aaron and Kelvin, they took the stage on the Sunshine Coast and were a huge hit with the crowd.
However, their big break came when Endeavour Foundation gave them a once in a lifetime experience to be rock stars for a day.
To make the KingStones’ dream come true, Endeavour Foundation worked with generous partners in the community and arranged time in a recording studio to lay down their original tracks.
But, before they got behind the mic to do what they do best, the band had to attend to their rock star duties and make time for their fans, and of course, a press conference.
At the start of the day the KingStones were whisked to Endeavour Foundation’s Head Office to hear the screams and cheers of their fans chanting, “KingStones, KingStones, KingStones…”
When band member, Bede, found out what was instore for the group, he said, “At first, I was like, no… shut up, no! Then I realised what was happening and I started to cry of happiness because my dreams are just coming true already.”
After the meet and greet with the fans, the pumped KingStones moved inside to face the waiting media pack. Handling their questions like true rock stars, you would think that KingStones had done this before
With no time to waste on their hectic schedule, the band was soon back on the road and headed for So Soap studio in West End, Brisbane
Band member Aiga described the ‘rock star for a day’ experience as, “The best day of my life… It was a miracle, man. I haven’t been this happy most of my life.”
Fellow band member Bede couldn’t agree more.
The KingStones see their music as a voice for people with disability. They write all their own original material with all songs written together as a band.
Support worker Kelvin, who has been behind the band from the beginning, explains, “There’s a message in all of them and they’re dying for the world to hear what they have to say.
The group’s studio session was a big step toward the KingStones realising their dreams. With serious ambitions for their music, the band has a business plan and a list of goals they are working toward, including performing regularly and recording a single.
“Just seeing these kids come as far as they have, that’s the best. I can’t even describe to you how it feels to be doing this,” said Kelvin.
Endeavour Foundation Support Worker, Aaron, has also been instrumental in the band’s success. Explaining what being in the band has meant to the KingStones, he said, “It doesn’t matter what life has thrown at you – if you have a disability, if you don’t have a disability, if you’re from a lower socio-economic area – we’re not going to let our situation hold us back.
“A lot of them have said that they can’t believe how many people believe in them and support them.
Ultimately, KingStones member Nick summed up what being part of the band means to him:
Offering so much more than just a place to spend the day, Our Learning and Lifestyle Hubs enable people with an intellectual disability to gain confidence and develop valuable life skills.
We work with each person to understand what is important to them, what they are interested and what they would like to achieve.
Smart and assistive technologies enable our clients to clearly communicate their choices and preferences. We can also support them in learning how to use technology, including our ground-breaking Virtual Learning Environment, to help them reach their goals.