Minnesota Orchestra Releases Music and Healing, Concert Broadcast and Digital Initiative

In February 2024, the Orchestra released the broadcast of the Music and Healing concert along with a series of performance excerpts and seven complementary episodes.

By: Feb. 16, 2024
Minnesota Orchestra Releases Music and Healing, Concert Broadcast and Digital Initiative
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During its 2023 Summer at Orchestra Hall festival, the Minnesota Orchestra premiered a first-of-its-kind program entitled Music and Healing. Curated by Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks with support from the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, the program included commissions of new music, and onstage conversations with scientists, mindfulness experts and the Orchestra’s own musicians that explored the intersections of music, anxiety and well-being.

In February 2024, the Orchestra released the broadcast of the Music and Healing concert along with a series of performance excerpts and seven complementary episodes hosted by Hicks. The full collection is now free to stream through the Minnesota Orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall and YouTube channel. The series of digital episodes is also available through Twin Cities PBS at TPT.org, while the full concert will be available to subscribers of Twin Cities PBS’ TPT Passport. For a full list of viewing options, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/healing.

Each episode includes an intimate conversation between Hicks and a different artist or mental health expert, including Minnesota Orchestra Associate Principal Flute Greg Milliren and cellist Sonia Mantell; composer Molly Joyce; producer and composer Lazerbeak; singer-songwriter Chastity Brown; and the University of Minnesota’s Professor of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Hubert Lim, Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Kelvin Lim, and mindfulness instructor Mariann Johnson of the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing.

Among the works commissioned specially for Music and Healing were a pair of new songs by the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter Chastity Brown, who has offered perspective on her own mental health journey through her music. The concert also featured the world premiere of Serenity, a work by Molly Joyce that incorporated audio clips submitted by Minnesota Orchestra audiences who responded to the composer’s prompts related to their own relationships to anxiety. Hailed by The Washington Post as one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome,” Joyce was a participant in the 2022 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. As another aspect of the program, Mariann Johnson of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing engaged audiences in a guided meditation exercise.

Regarding her inspiration for the initiative, Hicks said: “Music has been not only the focus of my professional life, but also an important facet of my well-being. It helps me explore my emotions, keep grounded in the present and cope with anxiety. Creating dialogue around music and mental health has always been important to me, and so it’s a joy for me to invite audiences to experience this program.”



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