Me2/orchestra is a model organization where people with and without mental illness work side-by-side in an environment where acceptance is an expectation, patience is encouraged, and supporting each other is a priority.
Ronald Braunstein, the Music Director of Me2/, received his musical background at The Juilliard School, Salzburg Mozarteum, Fontainbleau, and the Tanglewood Music Center. His teachers included Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Nadia Boulanger. Immediately following his graduation from Juilliard, Mr. Braunstein won the Gold Medal in the Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition and spent the next four years as an apprentice of Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. He has conducted orchestras around the world including the San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, Swiss-Italiana Radio Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Oslo Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Taiwan, Kyoto Symphony, Osaka Symphony, and the Tokyo Symphony. Mr. Braunstein was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1985. He launched Me2/orchestra in 2011 because of his desire to support others who struggle to maintain good mental health.
The Executive Director of Me2/ is Caroline Whiddon, a nonprofit administrator with more than 17 years of experience in orchestra leadership. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association where she completed a successful $2 million capital campaign, presented the VYO in their Carnegie Hall debut, and implemented two international concert tours. She is a past Chair of the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras, and a recent graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute. Ms. Whiddon received her Bachelor’s degree in French horn performance from the Eastman School of Music. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder more than 20 years ago.
Board of Directors:
Lisa Angstman, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist-Doctorate, Cedar Brook
Lori Bottom, Senior Technical Course Developer, Keurig Green Mountain
Gary Clark, President of the Vermont Studio Center
Peter Dwyer, member of Me2/orchestra, audio/video technician
Ann Moore, retired, Department of Medicine, University of Vermont
Michael Murphy, mental health advocate, musician, volunteer
Andy Pallito, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Corrections
John E. Helzer, M.D.
Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry
Director, Health Behavior Research Center
University of Vermont
Sandra Steingard, M.D.
Medical Director, HowardCenter
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont