David Militello
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David Militello

Band Pop Children's Music


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"Singer, 8, at Plaza"

Eight-year-old David Militello, takes the stage at the Sweet Auburn Heritage Festival on Friday, October 5, 2007 at 7:45 p.m., and Saturday, October 6, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. He will kick off the Dancing in the Street Fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association at O'Neal Plaza in Douglasville, at 7:00 p.m., where he will perform the National Anthem.

On September 16 he performed at the "Just Churchin" event at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta.

Militello started reading at the age of three. At the age of four he was blurting out the names of every state capitol when randomly asked. The state capitols turned into planets, then continents, followed by dinosaurs, and then songs.

David is a member of Harmony: Atlanta's International Youth Chorus. - Douglas County Sentinel

"Singer Wows Crowds"

At the age of 9 months, David Militello went from normal cooing to a near-constant humming that
lasted more than two years.

That's how he communicated, gradually adopting musical sounds he heard until he spoke his first
words at age 3.

David Militello, 8, sings the national anthem before the Hawks-Pacers game on Dec. 26 — one of his
many public performances.

Singing came a year later. And that, too,was nearly constant.

Today, at age 8, the once-silent boy is using his singing voice to stretch the boundaries of what is
believed to be possible for children with autism and to help raise money for a cure.

"He just loves to sing," said his mother, Patty Militello.

David's most recent appearances include performing the national anthem twice in two months for the
Atlanta Hawks and singing at an Atlanta Urban League holiday party.

"I just want him to continue to do that," his mother said. "Not only does it help him, but it also helps
other people."

In April, the Douglasville third-grader takes the stage for Autism Speaks' "Georgia Walk for Autism."

He also has plans to record a song, "The Sound of Autism," for a foundation of the same name his
family created to raise money for research into the neurological condition affecting him, his 6-year-old
brother, Daniel, and thousands of others.

David has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, a condition
that can affect social and communication skills.

The talkative and diminutive Chapel Hill Elementary student attends regular classes but sometimes has
trouble maintaining his focus.

He also doesn't have the tools to make and maintain friendships, his mother said.

While David's autism is believed to be genetic, Daniel's more neurologically severe autism likely
resulted from premature birth and brain damage, their mother said.

Still, Daniel has the gift of playing piano by ear.

Patty Militello also hopes the foundation can generate donations of musical instruments for use in
music therapy for autistic children like her sons.

"There is so many people God is sending our way that want to help," she said.

A soprano, David belts out classic oldies ranging from the R&B standard "Route 66" written in 1946
and first performed by Nat King Cole to the 1958 Bobby Day hit song "Rockin' Robin" remade by
Michael Jackson in early '70s.

David loves everything on the karaoke CD for the Disney Pixar movie "Cars."

His repertoire generally doesn't include hip-hop music, though the song "Pokérap" from the "Pokémon
3: The Movie" soundtrack makes the cut, thanks to what his mom describes as his serious Pokémon

He also likes to watch videos on YouTube.

The national anthem is his favorite song to perform, though he doesn't remember why.

'It feels great'

David loves to sing, he said, because "it feels great."

His first public appearance was singing backup to his aunt in church at age 4.

David has since done weddings, pastor ordinations, Christmas programs and local festivals, including
the Sweet Auburn Festival.

"I've heard so many people tell us his singing brings them to tears and what a joy it is," his mother said.

Last spring, David's talents caught the attention of Joyce Ketchie Carr, who invited him to join
HARMONY: Atlanta's International Youth Chorus, which she directs.

David has become a beloved addition to the 15-year-old chorus known for the cultural, religious, racial,
and socioeconomic diversity of its members and performances.

He stands out "like a shining star," Carr said, not because of his autism, but because of his singing

"I think music is the way he shows his love for people," Carr added.

"He gives his gift back to God this way. That is his connection."
- Atlanta Journal Constitution

"He's Got A Song - And A Mission"

(CBS) Before this week's Martin Luther King rally in Atlanta, they did a sound check, which went off … without a sound.

The stage manager asked 8-year-old David Militello: "Just a few lines for us, okay?"

David was scheduled to sing the national anthem.

"Go ahead, sing it for me…" the state manager pleaded.

Unfortunately, David wasn't in a very star-spangled mood, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports. Which begs the question: How'd he even get this gig?

"Oh, he can sing!" said Joyce Ketchie-Cann, the director of Harmony, one of the most prestigious childrens choirs in Atlanta. She's seen David withdrawn. But she has also seen what he's capable of - when he puts his autism aside.

“He closes in, and then he comes back out, and what he comes out with is like a butterfly out of a cocoon,” she said.

David has a form of autism called Aspergers. At first, his mother says he seemed perfectly normal - even said a few words - until about age 2.

“He became non-verbal," David's mother said. "And then the humming started.”

The humming - for two years, constant humming - was followed by notes, and lines, and eventually entire songs.

And although his mind still locks up with autism, "For me, its like being stuck in certain phases."

David is convinced he knows the key.

"How do you get unstuck?" Hartman asked him.

"When I sing," David said.

His specialty is the national anthem, which he has already sung twice at NBA games.

Hartman said to David: "Some people find it very hard to sing."

"Nope," said David. "It's not tough."

Fortunately, David doesn't have Hartman's vocal disability.

Although he still does have his own hurdles. His autistic "phases" as he calls them. Turns out, sometimes it takes more than a song to unstick him. Sometimes, it takes an audience too.

In the end, David gave another flawless tribute to the flag. And in doing so, he unfurled just a little more of the mystery of autism.


Still working on that hot first release.



David Christian Militello was born on February 4, 1999 in Austell, Georgia, and although he's only nine years old, he is no stranger to the stage.

David was 2-1/2 years old and non-verbal. His pediatrician suggested a specialist test David's hearing. After determining his hearing was not the problem, David was referred to another specialist for further evaluation. This evaluation introduced his parents to something called Aspergers/Autism. At age three, David was placed in a special needs program in the public school system. Within weeks of attending the program, David began to speak, however, his parents couldn’t understand any of it. David also lacked the social skills necessary to be placed in a "normal" setting. All the same, in spite of the babbling David spoke, he could somehow sing. It was the only language he spoke that everyone understood him. He sang everywhere he went and people would stop and listen to him.

While still three, David began to phonetically pronounce words, and a short time later, he began to read. Over a short period of time, he continued to progress academically, but not communally. He consistently showed signs of autistic behavior.

At the age of four, David had memorized Scripture, the capital of every state, the names of every planet, continent, dinosaur, etc. At age four, David had a part in an Easter play at his family's church. He memorized his lines without a problem, but he cried because he didn't want to be a part of the play. Nevertheless, when it was time for David to speak, he took hold of the microphone and belted out his lines as if it was the most natural thing in the world for him to be in front of an audience. He's been standing in front of audiences ever since.

A few of David's recent singing performances include the Childhood Autism Foundation’s Candlelight Ball; the American Society of Autism Georgia Chapter’s Annual Conference; the NAACP Black History Event; the Color of Public Safety Prayer Breakfast; the Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Rally; two Atlanta Hawks games; The CW’s Focus Atlanta’s 10th Anniversary Show; Atlanta Urban League Guild, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., Inc., and the Sweet Auburn festivals. David is a member of HARMONY: Atlanta’s International Youth Chorus. In April he will take the stage for the 2008 Autism Speaks Georgia Walk.

A few of David's recent performances include singing for the American Society of Autism, Greater Georgia Chapter, and the Childhood Autism Foundation (CADEF) 23rd Annual Candlelight Ball.

In January, David was featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in a story highlighting his very special gift and his special affinity for singing. He is also being featured on NBC's 11-Alive and CBS's Better Mornings television show.

David is using his life and gift to raise autism awareness and to raise money to help others with this disorder. His family has started an organization called "The Sound of Autism, Inc." to pay for services for less fortunate persons with autism to receive the benefits music therapy.

For further information, bookings, interviews, please call 678.558.7103.