Home Children and Young People Inspirational young musician wows at his biggest show yet
Yanick Maseko singing and playing guitar in a marquee

Inspirational young musician wows at his biggest show yet

by Gemma Melling

An inspirational young adult with autism has been breaking down barriers through his musical pursuits.

Yanick Maseko, who is 19- years-old and a student at Ascent Autism Specialist College in Newton-le-Willows, is a promising musician who has just performed to his largest ever audience, after impressing during voluntary work.

Yanick, who hails from Bolton, has been taking every opportunity that his college – who are part of the Remarkable Autism Charity – have offered him. His real passion is music – Yanick began singing in his school choir at the age of 11, and went on to teach himself guitar by learning how to play one string at a time.

His incredible determination and personality saw him awarded the highly prestigious Rotary Young Citizen Peacemaker Award earlier this year for his commitment to using his music as a platform to make positive change.

Yanick uses music as a platform to break down barriers, diffuse misconceptions, and raise awareness of autism both locally and nationally. His musical talent was recognised by a renowned producer at Tileyard Studios in London, and he was later invited to the studio to remix one of his songs.

Yanick on stage rehearsing at the Natspec Conference ahead of his big performance!

Yanick rehearsing at the Natspec Conference ahead of his big performance!

Most recently, Yanick took centre stage for his largest audience so far at the Natspec National Conference 2023 in Stratford-upon-Avon after volunteering there as an event host throughout the day. He took to the stage of The Crowne Plaza’s ballroom in the evening and delivered a stellar performance to over 300 delegates, playing guitar, and singing songs. This included covers such as Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, Shotgun by George Ezra, and OneRepublic’s Counting Stars, in addition to his own original song, World of Africa.

In the crowd, fellow students and staff members from Ascent proudly cheered him on. Everyone was completely captured by Yanick’s performance as he encouraged them to sing along and celebrate the end of what was a great conference. After the final song, the audience took to their feet to applaud Yanick who was delighted with such an amazing reaction.

Yanick told the room: “Thank you very much, that was the loudest crowd I’ve ever seen!”

Following the conference, Yanick was invited to perform at a SEN College in Huyton, Flourish FE, for its end of year celebration event.

Yanick played his well-rehearsed rendition of songs to the crowded room of parents/carers, students, and staff. He soon had them all dancing and joining in with the lyrics just after their awards ceremony.

Later that same day, Yanick attended Ascent College’s ‘Aspire’ end of year ceremony, to commemorate the end of the academic year and perform on-stage in front of his peers.

Vicky Bolster from Flourish FE with talented young musician Yanick Maseko

Vicky Bolster from Flourish FE with talented young musician Yanick Maseko

The budding musician encouraged the crowd to clap along as he performed a fan favourite, Counting Stars. The marquee at the Mercure Hotel, Haydock, vibrated with cheers and claps at the end of the set.

Yanick’s songs can be found on streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud – and are well worth a listen!

Outside of his experiences at college, Yanick supports his local community through volunteering at a food bank, participating in initiatives, and has performed at the Earlestown Christmas light switch-on.

Julliet Doherty, head of adult services at Ascent College, said: “Yanick is a star, and we are all extremely proud of his achievements, including his musical performances at college and other events around the country. He constantly strives to push the boundaries to achieve excellence.”

CEO of Remarkable Autism Charity, Robin Bush, commented: “Yanick represents what Remarkable Autism Charity is all about. We want to empower every one of our students, and it is fantastic to see Yanick on stage, empowered in what he does, and very happy. He is an inspiration to other students across our organisation.”

 

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