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Long Beach Jr. Concert Band Drum Unit Marches To Home Of ELB Man With Cerebral Palsy, Gives Him His Christmas Wish: A Drum...That He Plays Right Away

(December 26, 2011) -- A young man with cerebral palsy -- whose number one Christmas wish this year is to play drums and march with the Long Beach Junion Concert Band -- got the surprise of his life on the night after Christmas when the Band's drum unit marched in percussion cadence to his ELB house and presented him with a long-desired snare drum on which he can now practice.

Nelson Miles ran out the door to meet, greet and lead the approaching drum section (which set off some car alarms in its wake). Mr. Miles, age 22, is a big fan of the Junior Concert Band, often attending their practices. In a handwritten Christmas list, Mr. Miles put in first place: "March Parade Xmas LBJCB Play Drums."

A band member presented Mr. Miles with the new drum...and the Band's Percussion Director Lonny Daquiado told him, "You are now officially a drummer." And as the drum unit played its cadences, Mr. Miles played along with them.

For VIDEO of the event, click here.

Band alumni joined current band members for the event. Alumni attending included Candi Steinhauser (wife of 2006 5th dist. City Council candidate Pat Steinhauser, brother of LBUSD Sup't Chris Steinhauser). Alumnus Dennis Richards told the crowd that the idea for the night's event started only 4-5 days ago when a band member suggested getting Nelson a drum; someone built the drum in his garage; someone else bought drum sticks...and someone suggested marching to Mr. Miles' house. "This is about pure love, pure and simple," Mr. Richards said.

Mr. Miles' mother, Tuesday Miles, said the event's message is also about kids and adults with cerebral palsy and autistic tendencies. "Don't ignore their dreams...Let them try it at least sometime; let them try at least once and see what they can do....These guys [the Band] took Nelson in, and brought him in as a family, helped him and nurtured him and taught him and was patient with him..."

The LB Junior Concert Band marks its 60th year in 2012. [For reasons that escape us, City Hall hasn't scheduled the Band to perform during the City's summer concert series in city parks.] Citing budget reasons, City Hall recently relocated the Band from its long-time practice room to a shorer-term leased city building in North Long Beach...where the lease runs out in August.

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