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Orchestrating Change (Film)

Part One of an afternoon devoted to the intersection between music and mental health.


Sunday, January 22, 2023, 1:00 PM EST


Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall


Free | Please RSVP below

There is strength and passion in remarkable conductor Ronald Braunstein, in the community he built, and in this film."

-Ken Duckworth, MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness

At the Movies

About the Event

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 the 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 our new “Healing with Music” series, 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.


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