Pittsburgh Symphony’s sensory-friendly concerts, reaching new listeners

Posted on: December 24, 2019

“Jennifer Bruno doesn’t take her daughter Cassie to many public events,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Monday’s (12/23) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Cassie, 14, is visually impaired and autistic. Sometimes she yells loudly, when she’s overwhelmed or tired. …. It can be stressful to take her to public, family-friendly occasions…. On Saturday, the [Pittsburgh Symphony] hosted its first sensory-friendly Holiday Pops narrated and directed by conductor Daniel Meyer…. ‘Coming here hasn’t been stressful—this is wonderful,’ Ms. Bruno said at the concert while Cassie vocalized to preshow Christmas tunes…. Kids roamed the aisles…. The lights stayed up … some of the louder moments in the holiday selections were toned down.… There were … hearing aids and an American Sign Language interpreter for those with auditory issues…. The Pittsburgh Symphony… rolled out its first [sensory-friendly] program in 2015…. This year, the symphony has been working to adapt pops programming like its Disney pops concert in March and the December Holiday Pops concerts…. At the moment, the PSO only programs one sensory-friendly concert per season, but that may increase…. ‘We want this to become a new tradition,’ ” said Suzanne Perrino, senior vice president of learning and community engagement at the Pittsburgh Symphony.