The Flame heats up St. Pious X

Flame, a band made up of musicians with disabilities, performs at St. Pius X

Students from St. Pius X watched Flame light up the stage as the band gave two performances at the school Friday, Jan. 29.

The band, made up of members who have disabilities such as blindness, autism and cerebral palsy, have become international sensations, playing on stages everywhere from Greece to New York.

Lead singer and guitarist Michelle King, who is autistic, said she loves classic rock and especially enjoys playing Creedence Clearwater Revival's Traveling Band.

"I love it," she said of being on stage. "It makes me feel so proud."

Among some of the covers by the band were songs by The Beatles and CCR as well as dance hits like "La Bamba" and ballads such as "Desperado."

King and her band-mates met at a talent show in 2003, said Tim Fiori, Flame's director of public relations. The show took place at the Lexington Center in Gloversville, where each of the band members either reside or attend activities.

After the band formed, requests to play locally were coming in, and eventually, regional requests followed.

David LaGrange, the band's drummer and supporting vocalist, was credited on the band's Web site as coming up with the name to honor the Special Olympics torch.

LaGrange, who is blind, has been playing the drums since he was a teenager.

The band has now played on a national and international circuit and does about 100 shows each year, Fiori said.

"The more we played the more people wanted to hear us," Fiori said.

Fiori said the band has reached such a level of popularity they have to turn down shows because they simply cannot fit them into the schedule.

The band originally formed without the goal of making money, Fiori said. Now, it has a merchandise line, three albums and does paid gigs.

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