PRISON OUTREACH RESIDENCIES

TACONIC YEAR-ROUND RESIDENCY

Building off the success of our weeklong Musical Immersion programs in state and federal prisons across Connecticut and New York, Project: Music Heals Us is excited to announce the launch of its first full year-round program at the Taconic Women’s Correctional Facility in the Fall of 2019. This program has been designed by renowned teaching artist Daniel Levy, widely respected for his work with the Lincoln Center Institute, the 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall, where he was instrumental in developing the Musical Connections outreach program at Sing Sing state prison. 

The bi-weekly Music Theory and Composition sessions in this residency will introduce participants to the fundamentals of Melody Creation, Harmony, and Rhythm and Groove. Coinciding with the Music Theory and Composition sessions, TA Levy and a team of PMHU instructors will provide private instrumental instruction on guitar, bass, keyboard, violin, flute and percussion, laying the foundation for the formation of participant-run ensembles and bands. Together, these programs will empower participants to compose musical pieces to be performed by each other and PMHU musicians for end-of-semester Celebration Concerts.

BEETHOVEN CYCLE IN RADGOWSKI CI

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, Project: Music Heals Us will present the complete cycle of the Beethoven String Quartets at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution, the location of PMHU’s very first Prison Outreach Residency concert. For this very special cycle, PMHU has invited the world’s top classical ensembles, including the Dover, Miro, Brentano, Calidore and Ulysses quartets, to perform a single quartet for each day of the residency. Each concert day will begin with a morning session led by PMHU Teaching Artists Brad Balliett and Miki Sophia Cloud, exploring the triumphs and challenges of Beethoven’s life in music, and conclude with an afternoon concert by the day’s artists presenting one of the sixteen quartets. This program is slated to begin in Fall 2019, and will proceed over the course of two concert seasons, concluding in the Spring of 2021.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS RESIDENCY

In December 2018, Project: Music Heals Us produced a Musical Immersion weeklong residency at the Victor C. Bain Center jail facility in the South Bronx, fondly referred to as “Beethoven on the Barge”. In reaction to the positive feedback from both the participants and jail administration, as well as positive coverage in the Wall Street Journal, the New York City Department of Corrections invited PMHU to become an in-house arts provider, beginning in 2020. This residency will include twenty concerts in multiple facilities at Rikers Island, the Manhattan Detention Complex, and the VCBC, performing in both the general population and segregated housing units. 

SINGLE DAY CONCERTS

In addition to the above projects, Project: Music Heals Us will continue to present single day, interactive concerts in prisons throughout New York and Connecticut, sharing and delving into some of the most influential musical works through history.

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BACKGROUND

With the overwhelmingly positive audience response during our first healing concert at the Radgowski Correctional Institution in May 2016, PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US immediately expanded its programming through the 2016-2017 season to include an additional "spin-off" prison residency beyond the original five concert weekends throughout the year.  This expansion included three separate prison residencies in which the Solera Quartet performed in State and Federal prisons throughout New York, Connecticut, and California.

In the 2017-2018 season, PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US continued this work with four additional prison residencies throughout Connecticut and New York.  In addition, PMHU was awarded the ProMusicis 2017 Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service, supporting a week-long musical immersion pilot program at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in January 2018. During this week, PMHU musicians collaborated with Carnegie Hall's Daniel Levy to present an interactive, conversational, and educational musical program, and facilitated creative workshops through which participants were able to compose their own musical pieces.  The resulting musical creations and responses were extraordinary, and reinforced to all involved the power of music to bridge the divide between people of different cultures and circumstances.  PMHU’s 2018-2019 season of Prison Residencies included four additional weeks of musical immersion programs in federal and state prisons; this season we are excited to be launching four unique branches of our Prison Outreach Residencies.   

“Thank you so much for the warmth and enthusiasm for life and art you express through your music. Your music brought to me a sense of normalcy I can only call ‘home’. Thank you for that gift.”
— Inmate, Danbury Women's Prison