“On April 10, a Sunday evening, the Boulder Philharmonic took the plunge with its first sensory-friendly concert, featuring a string quartet and welcoming families with autism and different abilities,” writes Julie Marshall in Saturday’s (4/23) on the opinion page of the Daily Camera (Boulder, CO). “Lights were low and a large screen treated the audience of about 125 to an accompanying slide show of colorful exotic fish, birds and photographs of the life journey of our emcee, Benjamin Tarasewicz, who happens to have autism as well…. Boulder Philharmonic Conductor Michael Butterman is passionate about extending the joy of music beyond traditional barriers…. In one weekend, the library had filled 100 seats with RSVPs and soon had a wait-list, all from word-of-mouth within our community.” Said Ilse Wagner, whose son Oliver, 6, has autism, “I really appreciate the opportunity to get to listen without having to control and hush my kids. They were rolling around on the floor, spinning and kicking their feet up…. Had they been forced to sit still, they would probably not have enjoyed the music.” Julie Marshall is the parent of a child with autism and founder of a Colorado concert series called “Brainsong: No Shushing Concerts.”

Posted April 26, 2016

Pictured: Hank Fairbanks, 8, who has autism, enjoys videotaping live music on stage during the Boulder Philharmonic’s first sensory friendly concert, featuring Benjamin Tarasewicz at the Boulder Public Library on April 10. Photographs of emcee Tarasewicz, who also has autism, are on the video screen. Photo by Julie Marshall / Daily Camera