In August I attended a local concert at Middleburg Common Grounds by the newly formed band “Derrico”. It was the first time I’d seen or heard the group.  In fact, it was the first time anyone saw them as a band as it was Derrico’s debut concert.

The goal was to raise money for “A Place to Be”, a local treatment center which helps People with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy; Emotional Challenges of coping with bullying or self-esteem issues. And Tourette’s Syndrome, the affliction Daniel Derrico himself deals with on a daily basis and how he came to be involved with “A Place to Be”.

A Place To Be provides services for over 200 families each week, using music therapy to help cope with these and other issues. Daniel Derrico himself benefited from the program, and his band grew out of that experience.

Jason Price explains; “Each of us is connected to APTB in some way” “

“One of the reasons I took on this challenge of assembling a band and setting up a public concert is because I want to face my fear of public performance. I’ve played guitar for decades and I got involved in music recording and production at an early age. As a producer, my audience only hears the final perfected song. They don’t hear the hours of takes and mistakes being perfected behind the studio doors. When you play live, you’ve got to be on your game and ready to overcome any performance issues in that moment. It’s a different skillset and one I’m looking forward to refining. 

The song that Daniel wrote “No Fear” definitely resonates with me. It is a reminder that no challenge can withstand the force of confidence and persistence.” – Jason

Having seen the interview on WUSA9, I asked about David Pittman mentioned in the interview, and if he had been a particular inspiration for Daniel. 

“Yes! Dave is such an inspiration to myself and many others who are dealing or have dealt with Tourette Syndrome, and even those who have not. I had the honor of meeting him when he came to perform at the Hospital I was at in Wisconsin called Rogers Memorial Hospital. He gave a very moving, and intimate performance for all the residents and staff, and I have kept in touch with him periodically since then.” replied Daniel Derrico.

As to how music therapy actually helps in a real way to assist with various challenges, Daniel explained how in his own experience it has actually helped to reduce his tics and his reliance on medication.

“My tics are actually pretty minimal at this point. I can definitely notice when I am singing, whatever tics I may be struggling with do not interfere. I think a lot of other performers who deal with Tourettes and even stuttering can; …I credit Tom Sweitzer, Kim Tapper, and everyone at A Place To Be for helping me get to where I am today.”

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I started in photography in 1977 when I bought a used "Nikkomat" from our Postman who sidelined as a wedding photographer. I went with him as his apprentice to weddings and events and helped with set up, etc and learned about shooting, perspectives, angles, even setting up my own darkroom in my bedroom and developing my own B&W 35mm Prints. But I actually started before that, back before I even had my first camera. At 16 I studied painting in Arcylics under a famous artist named James Michael Triggs, who like his father before him painted magazine covers for such famous magazines as Gun Digest, Flying, etc. Already being a skilled sketch artist I picked up painting quickly, learning about lighting, shadows, color, perspective, etc. This no doubt translated into my photography and comes out in the art I express through the lens of my camera. I began studying Korean Karate in 1977 at the Jhoon Rhee Schools of Tae Kwon Do in Hyattsville Md studying under Jeff Smith and Steve McGill. I went on to try my hand at other styles including Hung Gar Kung Fu and Aikido as well as Boxing at the YMCA. I went on to become a highly experienced Rock Climber, becoming not only a skilled technical climber but also a paid instructor and guide for "S.P.L.O.R.E". Additionally I lifted weights and did other forms of cross training. Being skilled in heights, safety, ropes, knots and rigging I can photograph were other less physically adept photographers may not be able to venture. I'm available for both private and commercial shoots and specialize in equestrian photography but am also a skilled portrait artist and crowd candids for event coverage. I can be reached at chris@chrisweberstudios.com.