De Ambelt Zwolle is a special education school specialized in teaching children with learning-, development- and/or psychological disorders. “This description however regularly results in students not feeling so proud to be in special education. It disparages their self-esteem and that is not just”, thus Dennie Boxem, CKV teacher and mentor of the school band; “especially these students have incredible talents!” To show (off) their incredible talents Boxem initiated to record an album in November 2012.
In 2013 twenty students displayed their talents in the studios of Deltion College, recording the album This Is Special. The CD contained creative covers arranged by Boxem; like a metal-reggae-ska version of the pop song Paparazzi by Lady Gaga, as well as own songs by student Wytse Visser. The album was recorded under the supervision of Deltion sound engineer teacher Henk Mekkring and his student Steven Kroon. Known artist Rico and beatmaker Seven League Beats contributed to the album. Jamila Op den Kamp organized the CD booklet of which the photography was done by Jeroen Keep. The complete Havo section of De Ambelt Hengeveld College sold albums for €10,- a piece, resulting in a large group of This Is Special-students travelling to Leeuwarden to see the DJ’s Giel Beelen, Paul Rabbering and Coen Swijnenberg in ‘The Glass House’ of Serious Request; Holland largest charity event, handing them over a check of €10.040,-. Boxem got interviewed by Rabbering on live national television and radio, and one of Wytse Vissers songs was played on national radio.
From that year This Is Special was held annually to stimulate and display the enormous cultural talents of the students of special education De Ambelt, and raises money for charity at the same time.
In 2017 This Is Special won third price of De Nationale Onderwijsprijs, provincie Overijssel (INOP).