Ella Finds Her Niche as She Performs at Her First Concert

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by Michael Casten |

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The seats in the high school auditorium filled quickly before Ella’s first concert with the Young Naperville Singers (YNS) began.

We had spent the morning getting ready for the concert. Showers were taken and outfits chosen. Ella loves making videos on her iPad and decided to record the preparations for the concert. In the video, she introduced herself, telling her audience about YNS and the hours of practice she had put in, and shared her nervousness about her first concert.

The performance was to start at 2 p.m., and the singers had to be there by 1:30 p.m. for final preparations. We rolled up to the high school, and Ella wheeled herself into the orchestra room where her singing friends were gathered. We kissed her and wished her luck.

Ella’s grandparents came to watch their youngest grandchild perform for the first time. They brought flowers for Ella. We sat in our seats and waited to see the production that followed many hours of practice on Thursday evenings.

At 2 p.m., the singers, dressed in black, entered the stage. They took their places. Ella, in her wheelchair, was in the front row, beaming with delight. As we settled into our seats, a hush grew over the crowd. The choir director welcomed everyone before turning to the choir. The pianist began to play, and the children’s voices rang out across the hall. They sounded wonderful. The audience clapped enthusiastically after the first song, and the singers wore bright smiles.

The kids graced us with several songs about the holiday season, bringing a festive spirit to the auditorium. Their soft, sweet voices captivated everyone present. The concert ended with thunderous applause as the singers took their bows. 

We greeted Ella afterward, and her grandparents gave her the bouquet. She wore a smile from ear to ear. We took photos and socialized with other families before heading out to a celebration dinner.

We arrived at one of our favorite restaurants. As we ordered appetizers, we talked about the concert. It was incredibly satisfying to hear the excitement in Ella’s voice as she described how she had felt performing in front of a live audience. She seems to have found her niche in life. Singing is something she can do despite her SMA. 

We look forward to more concerts, singing, and smiles.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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