A stage for all

Eye on KELOLAND

Not everyone gets the chance to show off their talents in the spotlight.

But an Aberdeen non-profit is making it possible for more people.

No matter the song, there’s a part for every voice.

“I consider the band as a family,” Band Member Krissy Epp said

Krissy Epp sings in Better Ride.

“Who would have ever thought a girl from Oklahoma would be in a band?” Epp said.

But it didn’t start as a music group.

Years ago, Dan Cleberg grew a non-profit out of his coffee shop, the Red Rooster Coffee House.

Fallout Creative Community received some funding to host a writing project that would include people with developmental disabilities.

The group ended up publishing a story, creating a screenplay, and even writing lyrics.

“We wrote a couple songs and someone said, ‘Who’s going to sing our songs?’ So we figured we’d hop up on open mic and start doing it ourselves,” Fallout Creative Community Director Dan Cleberg said.

The group’s talents have taken them well beyond the walls of the coffee shop. In fact, they perform all over the state.

“It’s fun singing all the songs that we sing and meet new people that we stand on the stage with,” Band Member Ryan Pederson said.

Kelli Volk: Do you have a favorite song to sing?
Band Member Doren Serfling: Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire.

People of all abilities and walks of life are welcome to join.

“You don’t have to audition; you don’t even have to ask. Just show up and hop up on stage if you want to be a part,” Cleberg said.

Cali Summers is a drummer, something she’s been doing for 42 years, but not always as a woman.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for trans people to be accepted and Dan accepts me for who I am,” Band Member Cali Summers said.

“There shouldn’t be anybody left out of being involved in music, art, dance or whatever it is. We should, as a community, find ways to reach out to those people who don’t usually get the chance to get involved, bridge that, and find ways to get them involved,” Cleberg said.

That’s exactly what Better Ride is doing.

“It gets people who would be secluded in their homes, get to come out and be with other people, their friends,” Summers said.

“It gives me courage. When I’m feeling down I think about where I came from, where I started, and where I am now,” Epp said.

Now, she’s singing on a stage for all.

You can stay up to date on when the band performs by following their Facebook page.

If you’d like to donate, you can visit the website.  

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