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Since 2003 WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies have worked together with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community to help break the ingrained stereotypes about individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. The year-round project called MOVE TO INCLUDE, is designed to motivate individuals to take action and include more people with disabilities in the workplace, in schools, neighborhoods and in all aspects of society. Dialogue on Disability, a week-long spotlight initiative takes place every January, and is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

American composer, educator, and performer Molly Joyce

American composer & performer Molly Joyce
American composer & performer Molly Joyce

American composer, educator, performer and recording artist Molly Joyce explores disability as the creative source for composition, performance, collaboration and community engagement. Joyce, who was born in 1991 has an impaired left hand – the result of a childhood car accident. She holds composition degrees from Juilliard School of Music, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands, and Yale University.

Joyce faced barriers when learning classical instruments like the cello and trumpet. Instead, Joyce’s main instrument is a vintage toy organ that she purchased on eBay. It has a standard keyboard on the right and an array of chord buttons on the left.

It is rare to find a composer who is open about his or her disability, but Joyce uses her disability as the inspiration for her compositions for voice, percussion and other instruments. Her works have been described as unwavering and powerful, and she has collaborated with media and visual artists, choreographers and filmmakers. Her most recent album, Perspective, features forty-seven disabled artists who reflect on what access and interdependence mean to them.

Molly’s creative projects have been presented at Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, Bang on a Can Marathon and on several public media services. She is currently a Dean’s Doctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia, focusing on Composition and Computer Technology.

MUSIC: Molly Joyce: Bite the Dust - Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble - CD Innova 44

We'd love to get your feedback on these Move to Include musical vignettes? You can provide your comment here. Simply choose "Other" to question #1 and specify "Music to Include on Classical."

WXXI Classical promotes and supports inclusion for musicians of all abilities through programming and special events. WXXI’s Move to Include Initiative is made possible by a generous grant from the Golisano Foundation.