Dec 22 2010
A CASTLE Bromwich singer hopes that his success in a national singing competition will inspire other people with autism.
Matt Bond, aged 21, has been taking part in Open Mic UK - recently battling it out with 20 artists from across the region.
The former Park Hall School pupil, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, found out about the contest online.
“I started playing the saxophone when I was younger and was involved with the Birmingham Rep for five years,” said Matt.
“But I’ve never performed in a competition like this - had any singing lessons or anything like that - so this was a very different experience.
“On stage it’s just you being yourself with the microphone, so it was a bit nerve-wracking.”
The singer has impressed the judges with songs from musicals like Moulin Rouge and Jekyll and Hyde.
Earlier this month, the finalists went head-to-head at Dewsbury Town Hall, with the best three acts going on to the national finals.
Matt, who is in his third year at Sheffield Hallam University, is hoping that other people with autism will be encouraged by his experiences.
“I’ve never met anyone with Asperger’s Syndrome who doesn’t have a talent of some description - it’s now thought that many eminent scientists had some form of autism. One of the problems that arises for people with autism is social communication. But if you are passionate about something, you should just give it a try.”
After graduating, Matt said that he would like to carry on performing and is considering a MA in social work.