• Thursday, Oct 18, 2012

    Musical Connections, a Program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, Brings Unique Live Musical Experiences to People in Need Throughout New York City

    Songwriting Workshops Engage Parents in Writing Lullabies in Healthcare, Shelter, and Correctional Settings 
    Other Concerts and Creative Workshops Take Place at Jacobi Medical Center, Juvenile Detention Centers, Prisons, and Homeless Shelters  
    Carnegie Hall serves a wide range of community audiences in New York City through Musical Connections, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute through which interactive performances, creative projects, and artist residencies are presented in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, healthcare settings, and senior service organizations for people facing particularly challenging circumstances. In the 2012-2013 season, Musical Connections will reach 8,000 people through programming created by Carnegie Hall in partnership with host organization staff, government agencies, and first-class musicians from diverse musical genres. The program also offers ongoing professional training to its roster of specially-selected musicians, supporting them to be as effective as possible in these unique settings. For a complete list of locations served by Musical Connections and a full roster of the program’s performing artists, please click here.


    Lullaby Project: Songwriting Workshop for Parents
    The Lullaby Project, a key component of WMI’s Musical Connections program this season, is a series of songwriting workshops to be held throughout the year at two city HHC hospitals, a facility on Rikers Island, and at two city DHS homeless shelters. The Musical Connections Lullaby Program seeks to provide a creative experience for women (and sometimes their partners/family members) who are experiencing pregnancy and parenthood in stressful situations. Participants may be pregnant teens receiving obstetric and counseling services in a public hospital, incarcerated mothers on Rikers Island, or women who are pregnant or have babies in homeless shelters. The project aims to offer a positive, creative context for participants to consider what parenting means for them in their particular circumstances. The creative sessions offer lullaby writing as a way for participants to express and explore feelings about the connection with their baby/children. Lullaby writing also allows participants to create a memory and heirloom in a safe creative space in which they can acknowledge their shared feelings as a group.
    Lullaby Project workshops will be held this season at the following locations:

    • Rikers Island (Rosa M. Singer Center), led by musicians Thomas Cabaniss with Emeline Michel
    • Jacobi Medical Center, led by musicians Thomas Cabaniss and Emily Eagen with Falu Shah
    • Siena House (DHS Homeless Shelter), led by musicians Emily Eagen with Duo Rhone
    • Callaway Residence (DHS Homeless Shelter), led by musicians Emily Eagen with Saskia Lane and Meena Bhasin
    • Bellevue Hospital Center, two programs, led by musicians Saskia Lane, Deidre Rodman Struck, and Lee Ann Westover with Camille Zamora

    Work at Jacobi Medical Center
    In addition to being one of the sites of The Lullaby Project, WMI and the Jacobi Medical Center will continue their fruitful partnership with a variety of Musical Connections performances and programs co-presented throughout the 2012–2013 season. The ongoing mission of the Musical Connections work at Jacobi is to touch the lives of constituents at the hospital––patients, patients’ families, staff, and the surrounding Bronx community—by presenting music in various forms throughout the hospital’s campus. The partnership includes interactive performances tied to targeted health fairs, performances in in-patient units, and other concert visits for patients, visitors, and staff in the hospital atrium. Performances throughout the 2012–2013 season include:

    • November 1 at 12:00 p.m. — Duo Rhone (atrium concert and inpatient performances) with a wellness focus on flu season with flu shots provided for attendees.
    • December 18 at 12:00 p.m. — The Declassified and Camille Zamora (atrium concert and inpatient performances)
    • February 6 at 12:00 p.m. — Artist to be announced (Rotunda concert with health fair) with a wellness focus on Heart Healthy Month
    • March 7 at 12:00 p.m. — Sospiro Winds (atrium concert and inpatient performances)
    • May 16 at 12:00 p.m. — HIV/AIDS Adolescent Songwriting Concert with Chris Washburne and SYOTOS (Rotunda concert)
    • May 30 at 12:00 p.m. — Slavic Soul Party with Falu (Rotunda concert with health fair) with a wellness focus on stroke screening
    In February 2013, for a third consecutive year, Musical Connections will offer a songwriting workshop at Jacobi Medical Center for young people with HIV and AIDS led by Latin jazz trombonist Chris Washburne and his group SYOTOS, including singer Claudette Sierra. These professional musicians will work with teenage participants over twelve creative sessions. The musical works composed during the project will be performed in a private concert for the teens’ friends and families and Jacobi staff, allowing an opportunity for participants to present their own songs in collaboration with the artists. The artists will then perform a second, public performance of the new songs in the Rotunda.

    A twelve-minute documentary capturing the creative process as experienced by young people taking part in last year’s HIV/AIDS songwriting workshop as well as past participants’ statements about the personal significance of the project can be viewed by clicking here.

    Work with Court-Involved Youth
    This season, Musical Connections will work to deepen impact through its ongoing partnerships with city agencies tied to court-involved youth.

    Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ), Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
    Building on the success of previous years in the city’s secure and non-secure facilities, this season introduces choral projects at Horizon and Crossroads Juvenile Detention Centers. Led by Chantel Wright, choral director and founder of youth gospel group Songs of Solomon, the project will incorporate 24 participants into a choir that will learn African, gospel, and new music over the course of two weeks, which they will then perform in a final concert for their families and residents and staff of the facility. The first project begins in November 2012 at Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx, and the second project will be held at Crossroads Juvenile Facility in Brooklyn in January 2013.

    Department of Probation (DOP) and the Administration for Children’s Services Division of Youth and Family Development (DYFD) — Musical Connections will also conduct two songwriting projects working with the Department of Probation (DOP) and the Department of Youth and Family Development (DYFD). The first, led by Thomas Cabaniss and Nos Novo will culminate with a performance in March 2013 and the second, led by Slavic Soul Party!, will culminate with a performance in May 2013.

    Exploratory Paper about Juvenile Justice and the Arts —
    WolfBrown, in partnership with WMI, recently released an exploratory paper that is a major investigation of the potential of music to make contributions to the lives of young people in juvenile justice settings, building on the current work of many of the institutions committed to these young people. The purpose of this review is to invite readers and stakeholders—including organizations, musicians, staff, and advocates—to think about what exactly music (or more broadly, the arts) can contribute to the reform of juvenile justice systems.

    To download this paper, please click here:May the Songs I Have Written Speak for Me: An Exploration of the Potential of Music in Juvenile Justice by Lea Wolf, MS & Dennie Wolf, Ed.D

    Musical Connections Song Writing and Creative Work in Adult Correctional Settings
    This year, Musical Connections will continue its partnership with the New York State Department of Correctional Services with programming in three facilities––Sing Sing, Bayview, and Queensboro. In addition, WMI will continue its work with the New York City Department of Correction with activities at Rikers Island. Programming across these partner venues will include interactive concerts, workshops, and compositional instruction, building on previous work that has taken place over the last three years.

    Sing Sing Correctional Facility has been a Musical Connections partner since the program began in 2009. The collaboration has grown in scope and represents some of the program’s deepest participatory engagement activities and opportunities for creativity. Teaching artist Daniel Levy leads twelve creative sessions with 18 participants helping to hone their instrumental skills, develop improvisational abilities, create arrangements of music, and compose their own works. The works will be performed in concerts throughout the season featuring collaborations between inmates and professional musicians from the Musical Connections roster, which this year include Balkan brass ensemble Slavic Soul Party! and classical ensemble The Declassified.

    Please click here to watch a short documentary that highlights the role music plays in the lives of four men at Sing Sing Correctional Facility who have participated in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program.

    Additional highlights in Adult Correctional Facilities:

    Concerts at Bayview Correctional Facility:
    November 6 at 5:00 p.m. — Falu
    April 12 at 5:00 p.m. — Chris Washburne & the SYOTOS Band

    Concerts at Rikers Island Correctional Facility:
    October 18 at 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. — Emeline Michel
    May 1 at 12:00 p.m.& 1:00 p.m. — Sospiro Winds

    Concerts at Queensboro Correctional Facility:
    November 16 at 12:30 p.m. — Slavic Soul Party!
    April 26 at 12:30 p.m. — Emeline Michel

    Musical Connections Work in Homeless Shelters
    Since its inception, Musical Connections has produced a series of extended songwriting workshops at Valley Lodge, a transitional homeless shelter and one of 22 buildings owned and operated by The West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. which is overseen by the NYC Department of Homeless Services. Now continuing in its fourth year of partnership with Valley Lodge, Musical Connections presents classical ensemble The Declassified, which leads the project in 2012-2013, working with Latin vocalist Claudette Sierra and a mix of returning and new participants. The workshop will meet weekly from the beginning of October through January, and new compositions from this season will be featured in a public concert on January 9, 2013.

    Please click here to view a short documentary about the Musical Connections work at Valley Lodge.

    The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall
    The Weill Music Institute creates broad-reaching music education and community programs that play a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Woven into the fabric of the Carnegie Hall concert season, these programs occur at Carnegie Hall as well as in schools and throughout neighborhoods, providing musical opportunities for everyone, from preschoolers to adults, new listeners to emerging professionals. With access to the world’s greatest artists and latest technologies, the Weill Music Institute is uniquely positioned to inspire the next generation of music lovers, to nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and to shape the evolution of musical learning itself. The Weill Music Institute’s school and community programs and online initiatives annually serve more than 350,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York metropolitan area, across the US, and around the world.
    For more information, please visit: www.carnegiehall.org/education.

    Major funding for Musical Connections is provided by MetLife Foundation and The Irene Diamond Fund.

    Additional support has been provided, in part, by Ameriprise Financial.

    Public support for Musical Connections is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Probation and the Department of Homeless Services.

    Members of the media who are interested in attending programs should contact Samantha Nemeth at 212-903-9753 or snemeth@carnegiehall.org.

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