There are no auditions to join any of the Me2/ orchestras or ensembles and we do not charge a participation fee. All ages and ability levels are encouraged to join. Our programs consist of members ranging in age from 14–80+ years old, including students, health care workers, professional musicians, school teachers, and retirees.
We welcome patients, family members, friends, physicians, counselors, people recovering from addiction, and caregivers. We are a multi-generational, inclusive organization. You do NOT need to have a mental health condition in order to join our programs. Roughly 50% of our current members have a diagnosis they are living with and have chosen to tell us about, but we won’t ask and you don’t have to share.
Me2/ includes people who have either directly or indirectly experienced the impact of mental illness – so this includes everyone!
Please click on the tabs for each city to read more about the programs offered there.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to be diagnosed with a mental health issue in order to join Me2/?
No, although we are definitely reaching out to many people in the mental health community in hopes of serving individuals who are struggling with mental illnesses. Not every member of Me2/ has an illness themselves, but everyone has a story to tell – about a family member, friend, or colleague who has struggled to maintain good mental health.
Is there an audition or interview for Me2/ orchestras and ensembles?
There is no audition necessary to join any Me2/ group. All interested musicians have to do is show up. Well… we would prefer that you send us an email first, just so we know that you are coming, but that’s the extent of it. Most of the musicians who join will provide us with enough information so that we have a general idea of their playing level and we can all go into rehearsals knowing what to expect.
Does Me2/ give concerts?
Yes! In the words of one of the Me2/ members, “If we’re going to fulfill our mission of fighting stigma, then we have to perform as much as possible.” We perform throughout the year in both traditional venues (recital halls) as well as prisons, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. We also perform for mental health conferences, and essentially anywhere we know we can reach an audience of people who are living with mental illnesses.
Are you accepting very young players?
We are welcoming all ages. For players under the age of 13, we ask that they meet with our staff first and sit-in on a rehearsal to determine whether or not the orchestra or ensemble will be a positive experience for them both musically and socially.
Does Me2/ provide mental health counseling?
No, we just bring together people who are concerned about maintaining good mental health and share a love of music. We can point people in the right direction if they are in a crisis situation, but we are not health care providers. In fact, we’re patients ourselves.
How is Me2/ different from any other classical music group?
We’ve searched high & low, but there is no other classical music organization in the world that brings people together under the theme of mental health. To an observer, Me2/ ensembles look like any other community orchestra or chamber music group. The primary difference is that we openly acknowledge the fact that everyone in the room has different needs and we’re there to support each other. We rehearse and perform in a stigma-free zone.
Below are links to some organizations that may be of interest to Me2/ members and fans (just click on the logos to visit their websites):