North Central College - Naperville, IL

Concert Winds to perform March 12 at “Chords for Kids” event for children with autism

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307

Feb. 14, 2011—North Central College will host “Chords for Kids,” the fifth annual free concert for children with autism and their families at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12, in Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.

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 will perform works selected for an audience whose members are free to make noise and move around during the performance.

The Concert Winds ensemble performs under the direction of North Central College Professor of Music and Director of Bands Lawrence Van Oyen. This will be the third time the concert will be held in North Central’s acoustically stunning Wentz Concert Hall.

The event’s organizers include Karen Anderson of Batavia, Susan Maynes of St. Charles, Diana Knight of St. Charles and Jamie Walden-Mather of St. Charles, a visiting lecturer at North Central College. The concert is supported by North Central College and sponsored in part by Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Maynes emphasizes the importance for families to have fun with each other. “The Chords for Kids Concerts are designed to be events where families with special kids can relax and enjoy each other's company while listening to beautiful music,” she said. “We don’t mind a bit of extra noise or wiggling. No one is judging. What makes us smile is seeing happy faces in the audience. We love a little song and dance.”

A raffle with free prizes will take place, with prizes donated by area vendors. Winners will be announced at the concert. After the concert, light refreshments will be served, including gluten-free snacks. Attendees will be able to meet and speak with musicians.

Wheelchair seating is available. Visit for more information. Patrons are asked to RSVP by March 10 by contacting the Autism Society of Illinois at 630-691-1270 or email or

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. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 110 American children.

North Central College’s 2010-2011 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season is supported by a generous grant from the Illinois Arts Council. USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors. This performance is one of 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 lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).