The Skyline Chimers: Group to channel Beatles with tone chimes

Members of Skyline Chimers, from left, Chase Dove, 20, Johnathan Megee, 14, Diane Dove, 18, and Morgan Miller, 26, rehearse inside the Front Royal United Methodist Church recently. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – The Skyline Chimers, a group of teens and adults with mild to moderate developmental disabilities, including autism, are taking musical therapy to the stage on Sunday when they perform a collection of Beatles hits by playing tone chimes.

Director Allyson Gillispie said the 13 chimers have been supported by many volunteers and family members in order to make their concert a success.

“The chimers are fantastic,” she said.

The group was put together as a trial run in 2014 before solidifying in 2015 as the Skyline Chimers, Gillispie added. The chimers began practicing in January for their  Beatles-inspired performance. This will be the group’s third concert since forming. Last year the group performed with a Disney theme.

Gillispie, who has a music theraphy degree from Shenandoah University, said the chimers have learned a lot from chiming as a form of music therapy. They have become accustomed to participating in groups and taking ownership of the performances. They have kept their spirits up and pushed past any physical and mental impairments to become a part of the music.

Caregiver Sandra Muddiman assists Thomas Jenkins, 24, a member of the Skyline Chimers, during a recent practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

“My hope is that they are able to participate in a group that makes real music,” she said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com

If you go:
When: 3 p.m. April 23
Where: Front Royal United Methodist Church, at 1 W. Main St., Front Royal.

Christopher Sehan, 27, rings tone chimes with the Skyline Chimers. Rich Cooley/Daily