Moving America Forward

Homelessness Didn’t Stop the Music From This Teenager

March 4, 2014
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Homelessness Didn’t Stop the Music From This Teenager
Dominic Ellerbee plays guitar and teach freshman students how to play. YouTube
Playing seven instruments is just one of the things keeping Dominic Ellerbee's mind off of being without a home.

Whether it’s jazz, hip hop, or classical, music has the ability to lift a person’s mood. Seventeen year old Dominic Ellerbee, of Denver, Colorado, found that to be the truth when his family hit hard times.

Last year, Dominic was forced to live in a minivan with his mother, Madonna, and his little sister Dejaune. But Dominic had a creative outlet that enabled him to keep his spirits up: He’s a multi-instrumentalist and composer making a name for himself in the Mile High music community by playing and starring in the Denver Public Schools’ Citywide Honor Band.

Dominic, who plays the six-string bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, drums, the piano, the vibraphone and the recorder, also writes music for his school’s drum line and gives music lessons to other students. Of his difficult life, he told Alison Noon of the Denver Post, “It was hard sometimes, but it never really got to me because I had music and stuff.”

For months now, Dominic has moved from house to house, staying with friends and family members. But he expects his transitory life to become more settled now that his mother has found a job and they plan to move into an apartment this month. Meanwhile, he’s writing an original musical that, if completed, the school director at Denver South promised to stage next year.

Our guess is this young musical talent can finish anything he tries.

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