The Performance Troupe has existed since the Academy opened in 2001, under various names and with a changing roster of band members and staff. At first the venture seemed risky - would there be sufficient interest in the community to hear these performers? The answer was yes, with their talent and enthusiasm quickly generating good reviews and attracting invitations. In 2003, the ensemble was formalized as a training program with a curriculum giving the performers professional experience. Its dual purpose is to provide opportunities to BHMA students who are seasoned musicians, and to promote the school through these musical ambassadors.
Over the past ten years, the Troupe has performed extensively, from Montreal to Washington D.C., appearing throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic States at conferences, schools, colleges, nursing homes, senior centers, businesses and parties. Going beyond entertainment, a concert by the Troupe breaks down barriers and stereotypes as it testifies to the unique gifts of young adults with special needs. To their school assemblies and college classes promoting disability awareness, the Troupe members have added speaking about their lives to give depth and even more power to their presentations. Pepsico and Raytheon have both featured the Troupe at their corporate headquarters multiple times to help celebrate diversity in the workplace.
“The Berkshire Hills Music Academy performance is one of the best well-received and thought-provoking events we have at Pepsi each year. The band's musical talents immediately change any audience perceptions of people with disabilities to people with exceptional abilities. Add to that, the engaging personalities of the band members and you couldn't have a better event.” - Liam Fuller, Pepsi Beverages Company
"We received so much positive feedback from teachers, staff and students about this program. These young adults are SO talented and are just so inspiring. Their music and their message were simply amazing." - Northfield Elementary PTO