Kawai Piano Gallery, the retail division of Kawai America Corporation, recently advanced autism awareness by sponsoring a unique charity event. The Blue Piano Concert for Autism was a musical concert held at the company’s retail stores on June 9 in Houston, TX and on June 10 in Dallas, TX. The proceeds from each were donated to The Autism Society of Texas and The National Autism Association of North Texas in partnership with Music Doing Good.

Over 130 attendees at the concerts enjoyed the musical talents of featured pianist Ethan Olaes.  Diagnosed with autism as a toddler, Olaes’ musical abilities were discovered after he suddenly began playing a song on the piano. His multi-faceted musical skills (which include perfect pitch and the ability to also play the violin, cello, guitar, and trumpet) continue to be developed in his current studies at the prestigious Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Olaes was named the very first “Kawai Young Artist” at the Houston event, which also featured young vocalists and pianists representing the Music Doing Good Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings musical enrichment and education to children in need through outreach programs across the greater Houston area.

The Autism Society of Texas is the state affiliate organization of The Autism Society, a leading grassroots autism organization working to increase public awareness of autism and advocate for services for affected individuals. Jacquie Benestante, Director of External Affairs at The Autism Society of Texas, said “[It was] an incredible evening.  We loved everything—the blue donation envelopes, the blue lights, and the blue piano on stage.  We are grateful for the support shared by Kawai Pianos and the Kawai Piano Gallery, and we are looking forward to more events in the future.”

Nagla Moussa, president of National Autism Society of North Texas, added “We were especially thrilled to see that a few families from our organization were able to attend and that they enjoyed it.” National Autism Society of North Texas is an active advocate for families and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Dallas community.

Here are some important facts about autism:

  • About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder.
  • More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually.
  • Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.
  • Music therapy helps individuals with ASD identify and appropriately express their emotions.
  • Because music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, it can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for remediation of some speech/language skills for individuals with ASD.
  • Many people with ASD have innate musical talents.

About our partner organizations:

  • The Autism Society of Texas changes lives by connecting families and individuals to community resources and support throughout Texas. Offerings include support meetings; on-line networking opportunities; Sensory Friendly films; and fun family activities. More information can be found at http://www.texasautismsociety.org/
  • The National Autism Association of North Texas is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping and advocating for families, individuals and professionals dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  We use all our funds locally to provide support, resources and education. More information can be found at http://www.naa-nt.org/
  • Music Doing Good, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that inspires and transforms lives through innovative, music-based programming and performance experiences. More information can be found at http://musicdoinggood.org/

About Kawai: 

Over the past ninety years, Kawai has earned a reputation for outstanding quality, workmanship and innovation in the crafting of world-class instruments. Kawai acoustic and digital pianos are a top choice of pianists, teachers, churches, students, and professional musicians around the globe. The skillful blending of traditional piano craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology has made Kawai one of the most award-winning companies in the entire music products industry – having received over 48 major international awards for excellence.

For further information on Kawai Pianos, visit www.kawaius.com.

For more information on this event, please contact Chad Schumacher at (310) 761-6873 or by email at chad@kawaius.com.