Music and motion come together in Chords for Kids concert for children with autism

Feb 23, 2016

North Central College will host Chords for Kids, the 10th annual free concert for children with autism and their families, on March 5.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, in North Central’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,” “Spider Pig” and songs from “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Two North Central College ensembles will perform: the Concert Winds, under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Bands Lawrence Van Oyen, and the Symphony Band, under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Sean Kelley.  

Audience members are free to make noise and move around during the concert. “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.

For more information about this annual event visit

North Central College’s 2015-2016 Fine and Performing Arts Season is partially sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Marquette Companies, Nicor Gas, Ryan Hill Realty, Advanced Data Technologies, Savant Capital Management, USG Corporation, Monarch Landing, Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund, Illinois Arts Council Agency, DuPage Foundation and Naperville Development Partnership.