HUB Client, Geoffrey Weaver is defining himself through his extraordinary musical ability, not disability


Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — The HUB, a St. Vincent’s Home adult service is an active community-based program that assists adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Every day at the HUB independence as well as building community and social relationships is encouraged.

It is through intentional activities that HUB clients are able to be self-expressive, continuously broaden their horizons, and explore life’s opportunities.

One HUB client has been able to do just that. Geoffrey Weaver started attending Katie’s Place, another adult service under the SVH Services umbrella around five years ago.

Katie’s Place’s former location was a charming, historic two-story home; inside resided a piano. Geoffrey became well-acquainted with the keys of that piano and it wasn’t too long until the employees of Katie’s place heard music throughout the halls. They discovered that their client, Geoffrey had a gift. Today, he shares that gift almost daily at the HUB.

“It’s passion, it’s power, it’s beautiful-ness. I love music so much I would just, ya know, sing out to the world if I had to.”

Geoffrey Weaver, HUB Client and gifted musician

Musical passion is known to occur in those diagnosed with William’s Syndrome. Geoffrey is 32 years old and though you’d never know it by his playing, he has never had a music lesson in his life, merely access to instruments. He started playing the piano at age ten.

“I got better and better at it, and when I got very good at it I got to play the organ at church a few times and the piano a few times, and ever since I’ve been playing both.”

Geoffrey Weaver, HUB Client and gifted musician

Program Lead for the HUB, Emma Beard says Geoffrey has a skill and ability that not many people have.

“His ability to listen to a song maybe once or twice then he can go and sit at a piano and mess with the keys and he’s got a keyboard at home, but even think about the difference between a keyboard and an organ and he can still find those keys and match that to a song he learned… I would definitely qualify that as savant-like for sure because that’s not something that everyone, every day could do.”

Emma Beard, Program Lead for the HUB at SVH Services

SVH Service’s David Shaw saws the HUB team makes an effort to try to foster Geoffrey’s abilities.

“One of the things that we want to do for all of our individuals is provide choice and meaningful outcomes for their day and the music is very meaningful to him and if we can promote that in any way we want to help him.”

David Shaw, Adult and Community Services Coordinator with SVH Services 

Emma Beard with the HUB is truly like family to all clients who walk through their doors. Innately altruistic, she makes a constant effort to enrich the lives of all clients, and certainly has with Geoffrey.

 “Part of our Program is allowing these guys to really tell us the things that they want to try, things that they want to do, things that they care about; whether you like animals or you are interested in cooking or you’re interested in music like Geoffrey. During his time here and with his passion for music, every Tuesday on Facebook he does Tuesday Tunes, we film that recording, we’ve looked for relationships in the community. A friend of mine had an old Wurlitzer electric piano and he went over there and he filmed a video with Geoffrey on the electric piano. We’ve also gone to different music stores and things like that. We try to do that with all of our clients, embracing the things that they’re really passionate about or the new things that they want to learn about.”

Emma Beard, Program Lead for the HUB at SVH Services

Geoffrey, who practices daily just wants to be heard.

“I just want people to inspire me, like be proud of me I just want people to understand that I am not, I’m not a speck of dust I am a star.”

Geoffrey Weaver, HUB Client and gifted musician

Geoffrey is a star and he says he’ll never give up.

“I will succeed and I will keep on doing it and I will be happy cause I want to be able to be proud of myself.”

Geoffrey Weaver, HUB Client and gifted musician

Geoffrey has so very much to be proud of, his musical gift is a gift to us all.

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