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Family singing group overcoming visual impairment


Although he can only see a couple of notes on a sheet of music, the art has become Scott MacIntyre's passion in life.

Recent ASU graduates Scott and his brother Todd MacIntyre — along with 16-year-old sister Katelyn and mother Carole — form the MacIntyre Family Singers.

Scott and Katelyn MacIntyre both have forms of visual impairment.

"I'm almost completely blind — Leber's congenital amaurosis — and it is like looking through a tiny straw," Scott MacIntyre said.

"Instead of 180-degree vision I have about 2 percent vision."

The family recently won a competitive award from the VSA arts organization. The nonprofit organization's purpose, according to its Web site, is to create a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts.

The award came with a $5,000 prize and an opportunity to play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

"It is amazing, singing there was an incredible opportunity," Todd MacIntyre said.

Only two days after graduating the entire family went on a road trip through California to Canada and performed at different venues before finally arriving at the Kennedy Center.

Scott MacIntyre graduated from ASU in 2005 at the age of 19 with a degree in piano performance. His younger brother Todd MacIntyre graduated just a month earlier in May with degrees in musical theater and economics.

Both brothers have impressive resumes; Scott MacIntyre was a Marshall and UK Fulbright scholar, while Todd MacIntyre graduated summa cum laude and participated in three different honors societies.

Right now, both brothers are pursuing their own individual careers — Todd MacIntyre is scheduled to release his own solo album in August and Scott MacIntyre is working alongside Jason Mraz in Los Angeles and developing his own solo album.

As for sister Katelyn, the 16-year-old is not yet decided on a university but is taking courses at SCC.

While both brothers are working on their own careers, Scott MacIntyre said his family continues to be a shelter and source of strength.

"We will always have the MacIntyre Family Singers to come back to," he said.

Reach the reporter at: deanna.dent@asu.edu.


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