An informal Celebratory Reception will follow across the street at the Presbyterian Church. This is going to be a day to honor Vashon residents, active in our community, who are living with disability issues.
For questions or more information, contact Jane Berg at 206-567-4532
"Jim Bigham's Inspiring For Once In My Life"
Film Showcases a Unique Band of Singers and Musicians, and their Journey to Show the World the Greatness—and Killer Soundtrack—Within Each of Them
For Once In My Life is an infectious, expectation-defying look at the inspiring Spirit of Goodwill band, a unique assembly of singers and musicians, all with a wide range of mental and physical challenges, who share an uncanny gift for music, joy, and friendship. The film follows the band, made up of participants at the Goodwill Industries center of South Florida, as their determination, talent, and dedication takes them from the rehearsal room to the concert stage.
The 29 talented members of the Miami-based Spirit of Goodwill Band are all living with varying degrees of physical and mental challenges, but you’d never know it by listening to them. The pianist, Christian, is blind and autistic; lead singer Terry never fully recovered from being dropped by his father when he was 14 months old; and drummer Sam’s development was stunted by his mother's efforts to hide her pregnancy. With the enthusiastic encouragement of Dennis Pastrana, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries South Florida, the rehabilitation team, and their dedicated music director, the members of the Goodwill Band have grown from one piano into an orchestra with voice, percussion, keyboards, and a brass section. They work tirelessly and their musical success has transformed and enriched all aspects of their lives.
Goodwill in Miami graciously opened their doors and allowed the filmmakers to follow the band as they progress from concerts at veterans hospitals to larger public performances, and we get to know the members, meet their families, and visit their homes. They are “discovered” by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and music impresario Emilio Estefan, and the band is invited to play the concert of a lifetime — the U.S. Mayor’s Convention being held that year in Miami.
It’s a dream gig for the Spirit of Goodwill, with an audience of over 1000 people, made up of mayors from 440 American cities, their families, and special guests. The film follows the band as they prepare for this great honor, an arduous process that becomes a test of patience, compassion, and faith. The film concludes with a performance that leaves the audience cheering. For Once in My Life won the Audience Awards at the South by Southwest, Nashville, Sarasota and Heartland Film Festivals, the Jury Award at the Sonoma and Port Townsend Film Festivals and the Music Impact Award at the Nashville Film Festivals. Filled with joy, humor and tough love, it is an eye-opening look at the tremendous potential of people with disabilities and the power of music to transform lives.
To learn more about the film, visit the For Once In My Life interactive companion website (pbs.org/for-once-in-my-life), which features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter.