There is something magical about an Out of the Ashes performance that inspires the poet, the artist, the musician in all of us as evidenced by these heartfelt comments, a poetic tribute and original art.
a "I just wanted to write a note of thanks on behalf of Nathaniel and to try to express what it means to him to play in the band...

First, Nathaniel is always reluctant with anything new, even if he thinks he will like it. Anything new is somewhat overwhelming... The first time we came to Out of the Ashes, he was intrigued, but before we left where the car was parked, he head-banged a little on the windshield. Head-banging has been an ongoing issue with him for a few years, it mostly happens when he feels he is being pressured to do something or feels overwhelmed.

Now he is completely comfortable getting up on the stage and trying to use his voice into the microphone. He looks forward to it and asks (in sign) “what do Tuesday” to be sure we are coming to Out of the Ashes. I really appreciate that you have set him up with a mic because he tries very hard to vocalize into it. In fact, “singing” with the band is the most intentional use of his voice that I have ever seen him do in his entire life... Nathaniel is aware he is using his voice more and is very proud of it, signing “voice” to me or others later, and when asked if he used his voice, he smiles and nods enthusiastically.

If I had my choice of anything I could think of, I do not think I could have dreamed up a therapy that would be more fun and therapeutic for him than playing with your band. He has always loved music, many types, and often watches music videos...

Thank you for the band and also thank you Jon for all the little helpful things you have done for Nathaniel to help him feel comfortable and happy up on the stage."
Ford Martin





"As soon as the music starts, the lights go on inside so many of the people there. It is something you really have to see to understand... and ..." It’s way more than music. We need them way more than they need us.” -Margaret McClure, mother of an Out of the Ashes participant

"Seeing them participate in Out of the Ashes has been life-changing for me because it seems to be a time where there is full acceptance of everyone in the room. The typically present line between staff/participant, handicapped/not handicapped, and even high/low functioning seems to disappear. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to watch and clap, shake a tambourine, and get up and sing. Everyone is part of Out of the Ashes. EVERYONE!" -Diona Ries, caregiver


"...VCS (Village Community Services) has been blessed with the association with Out of the Ashes with Jon Dalgarn through his skills as a musician and how he interacts with people. He makes EVERYONE feel special, no one is better than the other, we are all equal." -Vicki Adams, parent, VCS Board Member, advocate
Skagit Band Member


"Jon came into Brandon’s and my life in a time that the Lord ordained. I didn’t know at the time God’s plan, of course, but He led us to a man that has dedicated this portion of his life to his music and God’s people that others have considered non-important. Having a son who is a savant, I realize the magic in God’s creation. Jon has been a Godsend, because Brandon’s life is music." -Cindy Somers, mother of an Out of the Ashes member
a "...There is so much unmitigated joy in their performances. We hand microphones to people who, in many ways, didn’t have a voice." -excerpted from an Arlington Times article on Jon Dalgarn, owner and facilitator of Out of the Ashes


And our departed friend and band member, Miss Darlene Hoezee had summed it up...
I think it (Out of the Ashes) is wonderful, because I didn’t know I could sing ... It gives the disable people a chance to sing. I’m happy what I can do with some help like you."