Meet Jeffrey Kautz
Want to be inspired? Keep reading!
Jeffrey Kautz is a young man with a wealth of talent. A well-educated, award-winning musician, a music teacher, and a mentor to students and adults with disabilities, Jeffrey is equal parts gifted and kind.
From a very young age, Jeffrey demonstrated a passion for music. A natural talent, Jeffrey garnered many awards both in his youth and in adulthood. In high school he received 19 NYSSMA Gold Medals in a variety of instruments including classical guitar, jazz drum set, snare drum, marimba, and timpani. He further received All-State recognition on Snare Drum, Marimba, and Timpani.
Despite all of these honors if you were to ask Jeffrey what his most treasured achievement in high school was, he would share that it is not music-related at all. Instead, Jeffrey would articulate that it is the time he spent while teaching, coaching, and mentoring students with disabilities in a weekly Physical Education class during his four years of high school.
After graduating high school, Jeffrey attended the prestigious Mannes School of Music in New York City. With the acceptance rate sitting at approximately 24%, garnering an invitation to attend this program is no small feat. As his course work was coming to completion at Mannes, Jeffrey concluded his experience by becoming the only solo timpanist to win the Mannes School of Music Concerto Competition. For Jeffrey, this was only the tip of the musical iceberg! An immense talent, beyond years and measure, on his twenty-first birthday Jeffrey would give the performance of a lifetime. Jeffrey was hand-selected to perform at the Czech Consulate in New York City for Drumming for the Bubny Holocaust Memorial Service. Following his riveting performance, Jeffrey attended a State Dinner with ambassadors from the United Nations.
Jeffrey continued to further develop his musical aptitudes attending graduate school at New York University Steinhardt where he received his Master’s Degree in Music. During his final semester at NYU Jeffrey performed as an actor, with a role as a drummer, in the HBO series “Plot Against America.”
This summer Jeffrey joined the team at the Winters Center for Autism as an Administrative Clerk. He recently lent his musical prowess to the center at a very special event. On October 4th, the Inaugural Joe Winters Golf Outing was held at the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club. To cap off the day’s festivities attendants transitioned to the evenings events honoring the life and legacy of the Winters Center for Autism’s founder, Joe Winters.
As the night progressed the time arrived for Jeffrey to bridge his love of music with his passion for giving. As he waited in the wings, to be introduced to a room of 400 guests, Jeffrey’s excitement grew in anticipation of his performance.
What transpired once he took the stage was nothing short of breathtaking. Jeffrey entered the room, approached his marimba, and with intricate detail positioned his mallets. Preceded by one deep breath Jeffrey meticulously, with extreme focus and precision executed his first piece, Yellow After the Rain composed by Mitchell Peters. He finished his first installment and was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Humbly, Jeffrey thanked the audience only to quickly remind everyone of the genesis of the event, immediately acknowledging Joe Winters, and all that he has done for the autism community. Without pause he prepared for his next piece, Flight of the bumblebee by composer Rimsky Korsakov, again finishing to another standing ovation.
It was a beautiful day, complimented with a magical evening courtesy of the musical talents of Jeffrey Kautz!
To truly understand and appreciate the magnitude of Jeffrey’s accomplishments we leave you with a quote from Jeffrey.
“Sometimes in life, we are presented with obstacles that shape our lives forever. Autism has made me a hardworking, loyal and caring person. I hope I can inspire others to achieve their dreams.”
Feeling inspired? Do you own a business and want to partner with us and “Hire for a Higher Purpose?” Please contact the Winters Center for Autism at (631) 635-1169.
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Winters Center for Autism Team
The Winters Center for Autism is committed to enhancing the quality of life for adults with autism through job creation, training and placement while helping businesses to develop and implement programs to employ people with autism.