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Documentary Screening: Orchestrating Change
January 22 • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pmFree
Part One of an afternoon devoted to the intersection between music and mental health. The concert is free. RSVP online.
Orchestrating Change is a documentary that tells the inspiring story of the Me2/Orchestra—the world’s only orchestra created by and for people living with mental illness and those who support them.
Ronald Braunstein was on a trajectory to being one of the world’s leading conductors. When he made his diagnosis of bipolar disorder public, he was shunned by the classical music community. Terminated from his last position with a community orchestra and nearly destitute, Braunstein decided to start an orchestra for people like himself: the Me2/Orchestra. Me2/Orchestra is changing the lives of these musicians in ways they never imagined. Roughly half the musicians are living with diagnoses of bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, associative disorder, borderline personality, depression, and addiction. The rest have no diagnoses. And, that’s the point. Me2/Orchestra is a groundbreaking, transformative model for erasing mental health stigma where acceptance and understanding are the priority. The film follows Braunstein and several of the musicians for two years—capturing their setbacks and accomplishments. It culminates in a joyous concert combining both orchestras for the first time—a triumph for Braunstein, who thought he might never conduct again, the musicians and the audience—who will never think about mental illness in the same way.
An extension of the new “Healing with Music” series from Princeton University Concerts, the film screening is the first event in an afternoon of free activities dedicated to recognizing the intersection between mental health and music. Following the screening, all amateur musicians are invited to join members of the Me2/Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Braunstein, in a stigma-free community Chamber Jam, which will be followed by a group reflection on music’s role in our lives.