Children with autism to enjoy Chords for Kids concert March 7

Jan 21, 2015

North Central College will host Chords for Kids, the ninth annual free concert for children with autism and their families, on March 7.

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

Music and motion come together as children with autism and other special needs enjoy instrumental performances, featuring classical pieces to popular tunes, including “YMCA” and “Spider Pig” and songs from “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Aladdin.” The College’s Concert Winds ensemble, under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Bands Lawrence Van Oyen, will perform.

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

Autism is a lifelong 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 68 children are on the autism spectrum.

North Central’s 2014-2015 Fine and Performing Arts Season is partially sponsored by season supporters, including BMO Harris, Casa by Charleston, The DuPage Community Foundation, Grant Thornton, J.P. Morgan, Main Street Promenade, Marquette Properties, Monarch Landing, Ryan Hill Realty, U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve, USG and Water Street Development.

This upcoming performance is among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and more, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).