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Classical 101

Sensory-Friendly Performance in New Albany

Musicians of the New Albany Symphony Orchestra

The New Albany Symphony will present a sensory-friendly performance at the McCoy Arts Center in New Albany on Saturday, February 6, at 11:30 a.m. The concert is geared for persons, many on the autism spectrum, who find it difficult to attend public events involving lights, crowds, sound or any other sensory difficulty.

Here's an example:  


I'll be joined by Erin Hoppe of VSA for a talk back following the performance in the McCoy Center lobby. VSA has been at the forefront of serving special needs audiences and the art statewide for years.

Performances such as thismayfeature softened lighting, lower volume levels,  and a welcome to those who may need to leave the hall or 'wander' during the performance. This will not be an audience sitting quietly in the dark. Rather, the 'liveness' of the event will be for the performers and for the audience. 

It may be difficult to imagine opera or orchestral concerts playing with heightened volume control. Attend this concert and find out how its done. A fine balance will be struck that serves the needs of the music and the needs of the audience.

The New Albany Symphony is the first local orchestra to my knowledge (I could be wrong) to offer such a performance. Sensory-friendly shows have long been a feature at Columbus children's Theater, and Crosswood Cinemas offers a regular Saturday matinees for the sensory sensitive. 

Come out to the McCoy Arts Center this Saturday morning for great music presented in a new way, to an audience that may have never before been able to experience a "live" concert. See you there!

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.