Students present sensory-friendly IMMERSE concert

February 8, 2024

Students present sensory-friendly IMMERSE concert

Children playing during IMMERSE concert

On January 27, Associate Director David Hedgecoth led students from the School of Music in the IMMERSE concert, an integrated experience for children with autism, in partnership with WOSU Classical 101 and the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University.

With a sensory-friendly approach, not only did children and their families have the opportunity to listen to great music performed by students from the School of Music, but they also participated in artistic activities such as dance, drawing, and music-making.

Christopher Purdy introduces the musicians
Christopher Purdy introduces the musicians.

The IMMERSE concert was not only a wonderful time for the children, but it also provided our students with a rich experience of playing a concert for a diverse audience. Kaleigh McGee, graduate teaching associate and clarinetist, tells us:

“As a musician, one of my favorite things is to see people interacting with my music rather than just sitting and listening to it in a concert setting. It was refreshing to see the children at the IMMERSE concert dancing and singing to the music I was playing. They all were having a wonderful time hearing the music and interacting with it, and in doing so, made me appreciate the art of live performance even more. When the audience connects to the music, the musician does too.”

We would like to express our gratitude to our outstanding musicians — Meagan Gaskill, flute; Frankie Wantuch, saxophone; Kaleigh McGee, clarinet; Sam Sherer, percussion; Nathan Snyder, piano; Victor Madelaine, guitar; and the students who helped with the organization — Hailee Franklin (BA Music/Theatre), André Felipe and Lindsey Scarberry (PhD students, Music Education).

Below: Children and adults participate in artistic activities; presenters from WOSU, School of Music and the Nisonger Center.

Students interact with children during IMMERSE event
IMMERSE presenters from School of Music, WOSU, Nisonger