New Mexico Philharmonic performs for autistic children

Posted at: 05/14/2014 6:08 PM
Updated at: 05/14/2014 6:09 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The New Mexico Philharmonic is used to playing large venues in the Land of Enchantment and playing for distinguished guests, including the mayor and local congressman, but the audience today was even more special.

Nearly 200 Albuquerque children with autism were treated to a performance of "Peter and the Wolf" and parents got to enjoy this show with their kids for a different reason.

"It was a great thing that it was not only for an autism crowd but that it was a musical performance. There was dancing. It was just an opportunity that you really just don't get to have a lot," said Cay Garcia, a mother of one of the children at the performance.

The man who helped bring the children to the symphony, Anthony Trujillo, is not only is a board member of the New Mexico Philharmonic, but also has a daughter with autism. He calls her his inspiration.

"As a parent of an autistic child, we refrain typically from taking our children to quiet venues, especially symphonies, so I thought this would be a great experience for the autistic children that were here today from Albuquerque Public Schools," Trujillo said.

What makes the event one of a kind, according to the director of the New Mexico Philharmonic Board Maureen Baca, is that it's the first time an event like this has ever been done in the United States with a full professional orchestra performing in a regular concert venue for children with autism.

Everyone involved, including the New Mexico Philharmonic, APS, and Trujillo, plan on having a similar performance next year and hope to bring in students from middle and high schools as well.