“North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s January concert will have an added bonus this weekend,” writes W. Derek Russell in Thursday’s (1/24) Daily Journal (Tupelo, MS). “The organization will present its first-ever sensory-friendly concert designed for audiences of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autistic spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. [At] the free concert … staff from the Autism Center of North Mississippi, which is partnering with NMSO on the event, will be on-hand to help with amenities for the performance, which include a shush-free concert (making noise and verbalizing is OK), flexible seating, lights at a lower level, cool-down space and quiet room, fidget toys and noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs…. [North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Lisa] Martin … encouraged her organization to explore the possibility of a sensory-friendly concert after experiencing a musical theater performance with her son, Jack … The 12-year-old is on the autism spectrum and until then, they had not attended a professional performing arts event together as a family…. Martin and NMSO music director Steven Byess researched other orchestras that were offering sensory-friendly performances across the country and decided this was something they could offer the region.”

Posted January 28, 2019