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Arizona teen who was born blind teaches himself clarinet and inspires others

Joe Giacinto hopes to play the national anthem for the Arizona Diamondbacks and eventually perform at Carnegie Hall.

GILBERT, Ariz. — A Valley teen is inspiring musicians everywhere after learning to play the clarinet despite his vision impairment. 

Joe Giacinto says he was born blind but immediately developed a love for lullabies and music.

"It soothes me, calms me down and helps me control my thoughts," he said.

The 15-year-old freshman from Highland High School started loving lyrics and songs after spending a lot of his childhood in and out of the hospital.

"I just like hearing myself playing. It just makes me feel proud of what I've accomplished," Joe said. 

When he asked his family for a birthday gift, he knew exactly what he wanted: a woodwind instrument.

"I told them I wanted a clarinet, and when I got it, I tried playing it and I couldn't really make it make a sound, and three hours later, I got it, self-taught," he said.

His dream is to perform at Carnegie Hall, but beyond that, he wants to play our nation's anthem for the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2020 season.

"I've always wanted to perform in front of a big crowd since my eighth-grade year," Joe said

But until then, he's happy performing in the park and playing in his high school band, with big hopes heading into sophomore year.

"I hope to make first chair, and I usually practice about three hours a day," he said.

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