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This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.
The North Carolina Symphony is dedicated to serving all North Carolinians with orchestral music - and guided by that mission, the Symphony will present its first-ever Sensory-Friendly Concert at Meymandi Concert Hall on September 14, 2019, at 1pm. The Sensory-Friendly Concert is designed to be welcoming to all families, including children and adults with autism, sensory sensitivities, and other special needs. A relaxed attitude toward movement and noise in the concert hall will encourage those with differing needs to fully enjoy and express themselves at this concert of classical family favorites.
Among other accommodations, audience members will be welcomed to move out of their seats, sing along, or talk. Noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, or other items needed to create a comfortable environment will all be permitted in the concert hall. In line with established practices for sensory-friendly performances, the concert hall will remain partially lit, and a designated "quiet space" will be provided for any individuals who need a moment to step out of the concert and relax in a private area. Materials that detail the concert experience from start to finish will be distributed in advance of the concert day to prepare audiences for what to expect at the Symphony. Wheelchair seating, ASL interpretation, and Braille and large-print programs will be available.
While many of these practices accommodate the needs of families in the autism community and others with sensory sensitivities, the one-hour, fun-filled performance will be inclusive of individuals of all ages and abilities.
"It is so important that people of differing needs and abilities have the opportunity to experience the power of orchestral music, and we are proud that this special performance by the North Carolina Symphony is all-access," says Jennie Wallace, Chair of the NCS Education Committee. "We are thrilled to expand our reach and bring new faces into the concert hall for this family-friendly afternoon."
The concert, conducted by NCS Music Director Grant Llewellyn, will feature familiar classical music. It will be hosted by Andy Pidcock, an industry leader in creating programming that makes music accessible to all. Pidcock and Llewellyn previously worked together on a relaxed concert presented by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2016 Proms. Llewellyn is eager to now lead a relaxed, sensory-friendly concert in North Carolina.
NCS musicians are also passionate about this initiative - including Kim Van Pelt, Associate Principal French Horn, who is the mother of a child with autism. "When you're the parent of a special-needs child, you need places where you can go and feel safe," says Van Pelt. "It's just as important for parents to feel safe - to know that you are in an environment where, no matter what happens, it's all okay," she says. "There is a big need for this - bigger than most people realize."
Audience members are encouraged to arrive up to an hour before show-time to try out instruments at the Instrument Zoo and meet new friends. Concert tickets are family-affordable, at $5 each with a flexible refund policy.
For complete details and tickets, please visit: https://www.ncsymphony.org/events/295/family-fun-4-everyone-sensory-friendly-concert/
The Sensory-Friendly Concert is made possible in part with support from The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. Funding from this two-year grant helped support extensive research, planning, and staff and musician training in order to ensure that this concert experience best serves the community.
The North Carolina Symphony expresses its appreciation to Concert Sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina for its generous support.
The North Carolina Symphony thanks Media Partner Carolina Parent for its support.
North Carolina Symphony Sensory-Friendly Concert Family Fun 4 Everyone
Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm Meymandi Concert Hall Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Raleigh, NC
PERFORMERS North Carolina Symphony Grant Llewellyn, conductor Andy Pidcock, host
ALL TICKETS $5 (General Admission Seating) https://www.ncsymphony.org/events/295/family-fun-4-everyone-sensory-friendly-concert/
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina's cultural life. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony's 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties - in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony's full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
NCS's state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony's service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world's greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina.
Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra - serving nearly 70,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.
NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented 49 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras - an honor that recognized the Symphony's creative programming and innovative community partnerships.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. To learn more, visit ncsymphony.org.