An extraordinarily talented young musician is spreading inspiration and serving as a living testament to why anything is possible with his remarkable story.
Back to school season is officially here and 15-year-old Darrius Simmons couldn't be more excited for what's in store. The Warren, Ohio teen had dreams of marching in his high school band and when he realized it wasn't possible because of his prosthetic legs, the band director stepped in to see what he could do. A self-taught pianist who has been tickling the ivory keys since the age of 10 despite being born with only 4 fingers in total, Darrius made national headlines when he caught the attention of world-renowned Korean pianist Yiruma after posting videos of himself playing the piano on Facebook.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
Thoroughly impressed with his talent and inspired by his story, Yiruma invited Darrius to perform during his show at NYC's prestigious Carnegie Hall venue back in April.
Fast forward a few months to the beginning of the school year and Darrius is bringing his talents back home to wow local crowds as a part of the historic Warren G. Harding marching band, thanks to efforts from band director Reid Young. After learning of Darrius' request, Young decide to incorporate a piano into the band's weekly performance so Darrius could take his rightful spot and do what he does best. Needless to say, Darrius was elated with the opportunity to join the band. "No, I never thought that I'd be in a marching band, because I didn't think there was another spot that you can do except marching," he told WFMJ.