Kate ReynoldsKate Reynolds is the host of a concert this weekend dedicated to the music and inclusivity of Fred Rogers.

Concert to celebrate music and inclusivity of children’s entertainer and educator

In partnership with Autism Ontario and the Windsor Public Library, 4th Wall Music celebrates the music of the late Fred Rogers on Sunday, April 16. This all-ages, family-focused program will explore Roger’s contributions to music, education, inclusivity, and autism acceptance.

Conceived and hosted by UWindsor alum Kate Reynolds (BMus 2006), a local musician, writer, and children’s librarian who is open about her autism diagnosis, disabilities, and queerness, “It’s You I Like: The Music of Mr. Rogers” will champion the importance of representation while introducing children to classical music.

The music will include favourites from the children’s television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood arranged by Canadian composer Michael Park for violin, viola, cello, and voice. The program will be a musical walk through an average day featuring not only music by Fred Rogers but such compositions as “Morning Mood” by Edvard Greig, a familiar aria by Wolfgang Mozart, and a little Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov on the piano. You can also expect to enjoy nostalgic, Canadian tunes in English and French including Fred Penner’s “Sandwiches” and Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s “Skinnamarink.”

Several of the performing musicians have UWindsor connections, including vocalists Reynolds and associate university librarian Karen Pillon, and SoCA accompanist, pianist Anna Zaidman. The ensemble is rounded out with vocalists Aimee Clifford and Dave Banwell, and strings musicians violist Florin Simioanca and cellist Rachel Pinkney.

Rogers often reminded his viewers that he liked then just the way they are, and 4th Wall Music wants this concert to reflect the many wonderful ways to be. As part of its commitment to diversity, the audience will also get a special visit from “Amanda Villa the Drag Queen,” who will join in reading “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.”

After the concert families can meet Amanda and explore information tables provided by Autism Ontario, Biblioasis, and Windsor Public Library.

This concert is funded by a Performing Arts Infrastructure Grant through the Windsor Endowment for the Arts.

It is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 121 University Ave. West. Tickets are $5 for children and $20 for adults. 4th Wall Music would like to make it possible for all its “neighbours” to attend this program. To confidentially request a donated ticket, email info@4thwallmusic.com.

Those buying tickets also have the option to donate tickets to help share the love of music with those in need. Visit the event website for more information about the program, featured artists, and tickets.