S.C. Phil readies for first sensory-friendly concert

Concert experience for persons with sensory sensitivities and all families

The South Carolina Philharmonic looks forward to its inaugural Sensory Friendly Family Concert Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 at 3 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia.

This concert event is designed especially for persons with sensory sensitivities and their families. As a component of the SCP’s educational and outreach programs, this inclusive concert gives audience members the ability to fully experience orchestral music without any of the constraints of a standard performance. During this 60-minute program, audience members are free to move about, dance, speak, sing, vocalize or move between the auditorium and the lobby if desired.

The SCP is also dedicated to accessible ticketing for this event, with prices ranging from $10-$20. Half-price student tickets are available in all sections.

The South Carolina Philharmonic is partnering with various organizations to present the Sensory Friendly Family Concert. Current partners are The Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment, the S.C. Commission for the Blind, Family Connections of S.C., Key Changes Therapy Services, Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopment Research Center, and Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services. The orchestra is passionate about working with these partners to provide resources to the families that attend the event, and to continue positioning the SCP to provide opportunities that welcome all audiences by removing barriers.

Education and Community Engagement Director Susan Cafferty dreamed of creating a concert program that would serve persons with sensory sensitivities and their families.

“This concert is something that I’m personally passionate about,” said Cafferty. “As a mother who struggles to find arts events that are welcoming to audiences with neurodiversity, I felt our orchestra was positioned to create something special in Columbia.”

Cafferty and the SCP staff have been working with the Koger Center to create a concert experience that sensory sensitive listeners and family members can enjoy without the constraints of a standard performance. The hope is that audiences will delight in the discovery of orchestral experiences that invite and welcome all to the world of classical music.

This 60-minute concert has been programmed by Music Director Morihiko Nakahara to feature an array of repertoire that will entertain families. Audiences will be welcome to move around the space freely, vocalize and provide special needs care. This concert is for all families and audiences. As the orchestra’s accessibility endeavors continue, the organization intends to work closely with the Koger Center to provide more opportunities that abolish barriers to attending live music performances.

Tickets may be purchased at scphilharmonic.com or by calling the Koger Center Box Office at 803.251.2222.

The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community.