North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College hosts “Chords for Kids” concert March 10 for children with autism

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North Central College on March 10 hosts “Chords for Kids,” the sixth annual free concert for children with autism and their families.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Wheelchair seating is available. Patrons are asked to RSVP before March 9; 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 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 perform works selected for an audience whose members are free to make noise and move around during the performance.

The event’s organizers include Karen Anderson of Batavia, Karyn DeVault of St. Charles, Georgia Tauscher of Geneva and Jamie Walden-Mather of St. Charles, a visiting lecturer at the College. The concert is supported by North Central College and sponsored in part by Amber Dental and Total Body Health Center.

The organizers emphasize 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," event founder Susan Maynes 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. Visit for more information.

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 one in every 110 American children.

USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors of North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 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).