RELEASE: Sensory-Friendly Concert for Families with Special Needs

Sensory Friendly Concert, Marylhurst UniversityPortland Wind Symphony & the music therapy program at Marylhurst University present a Sensory-Friendly Concert on Feb. 4, 2017

The Portland Wind Symphony, in partnership with the music therapy program at Marylhurst University, is pleased to present its second Sensory-Friendly Concert on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Anne’s Chapel at Marylhurst University. While this performance is ideal for anyone whose sensory needs make a regular concert setting difficult, everyone is welcome. New this year: the Marylhurst Chamber Choir will join the Portland Wind Symphony to perform classical and popular works for choir and band in an environment that is comfortable and judgment-free. Accommodations include:

  • Lights up inside the performance hall
  • Lower volume and consistent sound level
  • Audience members are free to talk and leave their seat
  • Props to borrow such as scarves
  • Audience members are welcome to bring/use headphones
  • Special activities, including a “musical petting zoo” for youth and a sing-along of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, standing alongside the choir or at your seat, your choice.

Sensory-Friendly Concert

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

St. Anne’s Chapel, Marylhurst University



More about the Sensory-Friendly Concert Experience

Social stories are available to prepare a child for the performance. “A social story is an individualized story that describes concrete aspects of an event – the who, what, where, when, and why – in a clear and reassuring manner,” says Emily Ross, music therapist and clinical coordinator of music therapy at Marylhurst. “The idea of a social story for the Sensory-Friendly Concert is about helping all audience members cope with potential anxiety in a new situation.” Ross specializes in autism and has worked with adults and children in private practice and at Victory Academy over the past 14 years. She also plays the French horn in the Portland Wind Symphony. To request a social story, email

Marylhurst music therapy students will be on hand throughout the event to welcome and support audience members during the concert. Following the concert, Marylhurst students will offer information about music therapy, while overseeing a “musical petting zoo” for children.

To help ensure the event is accessible to all, there is no cost – admission is free. Donations to Portland Wind Symphony are gratefully accepted, to cover event costs.


The Portland Wind Symphony was founded in 1988 by Dr. Daniel Cole. Cole began the group at Marylhurst University, as the Marylhurst Wind Ensemble. In the decades since, the symphony has grown to serve the entire Portland metropolitan region, providing a dedicated and ever-expanding audience with novel musical performances of all types of wind ensemble literature.

Marylhurst University, a private, nonprofit applied liberal arts and business university 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving students who want to complete their bachelor’s degree or earn an advanced degree. Empowering students to impact the world since 1893, Marylhurst offers degree completion programs at the bachelor’s level, master’s degrees and professional certificate programs both on campus and online. We are the premier university that weaves together the liberal arts with professional studies and prepares graduates to be ethical leaders who think critically and creatively.



MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Pederson, Communications & Content Manager, 503.699.6247,

2017-03-30T01:04:25+00:00 December 28th, 2016|Music Therapy, Releases|