North Central College to host March 9 Chords for Kids event for children with autism

Jan 28, 2013

North Central College on March 9 will host Chords for Kids, the seventh annual free concert for children with autism and their families.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Wheelchair seating is available. Admission is free, though tickets are required; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

Music and motion come together as children with autism and other special needs enjoy performances of classical music in a world-class concert hall. The College’s Concert Winds ensemble, under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Bands Lawrence Van Oyen, will feature a wide variety of music including “YMCA,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Aladdin” and “Spider Pig.”

Audience members are free to make noise and move around during the performance. ‘“Wigglers are welcome’ is our motto,” says Van Oyen. “The purpose of the performance is to offer families a night out at a concert without the usual social restraints.”

A raffle with free prizes will take place, with prizes donated by area vendors. Winners will be announced at the concert. A reception will be held after the concert and families are asked to RSVP to the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-7469. Light refreshments will be served, including gluten-free snacks, and attendees will be able to meet and speak with musicians. 

Autism is a developmental disorder that impairs a child’s social and intellectual development. Its causes and effects are not entirely understood, although diagnoses have dramatically increased in recent years.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify around one in 88 American children are on the autism spectrum—a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years.

Navistar is underwriting sponsor of North Central College’s 2012-2013 Fine and Performing Arts Season. The season is partially supported by USG Corporation and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and National Endowment of the Arts.