Star of Les Misérables Honors Musicians with Hearing Loss

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:47:01 EST

Mark McVey joined the HearStrong Foundation to celebrate the accomplishments of remarkable individuals with hearing loss.

On July 20, the HearStrong Foundation held a ceremony in Somerset, NJ, recognizing two musicians as Champions. The foundation serves to change the way people view hearing loss and the adaptation of hearing technology, and Champions are the vehicle for this mission.

The foundation also names ambassadors to help honor Champions, interact with the public, and spread awareness about hearing loss. Mark McVey—a Broadway performer who has starred as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables—was recognized as an ambassador in New Jersey, and he took part in the ceremony celebrating Elliot Gross and Wendy Cheng, two individuals who share his passion for music.

Wendy has been playing music for the majority of her life. Despite skepticism from other musicians after being diagnosed with hearing loss at a young age, she has studied the violin, viola, piano, handbells, hand chimes, and has even taken voice lessons. She is currently the lead in a hand chime ensemble, and the founder of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL). Wendy is a Champion due to her dedication to her passion, and her advocacy that will help other musicians with hearing loss succeed.

Elliot is an aspiring young guitarist who was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of two. He is grateful for the support he has received and is excited to pass on this support to others as a HearStrong Champion.

"Because of my hearing aids, I can hear when I play my guitar and when I sing. I am very glad to have this ability," said Elliot. "I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t. I express myself through the music I play and the songs I write. It is one of my greatest passions and being able to hear has enabled me to do it."

With outstanding advocates like Mark, Wendy, and Elliot, the HearStrong Foundation can continue to break down barriers and increase hearing loss awareness.

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