There is no audition to join either of the Me2/Orchestras and we do not charge a participation fee. All ages and ability levels are encouraged to join. The Me2/Orchestras currently 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. This is a multi-generational, inclusive organization. You do NOT need to have a mental health condition in order to join Me2/Orchestra. 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!
Me2/Orchestra–Burlington: Rehearsals are held weekly on Thursdays from 7:15 – 9:00 p.m. at South Burlington High School, located at the corner of Dorset and Kennedy Streets. Rehearsals for the fall session of the 2016–17 season begin in September (check our calendar of events page for the specifics). New members are accepted at various points throughout the season.
Me2/Orchestra–Boston: Rehearsals are held on Mondays from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain, conveniently located close to public transportation. Rehearsals for the fall session of the 2016–17 season begin in September (check our calendar of events page for the specifics). New members are accepted at various points throughout the season.
If you are interested in joining either of the Burlington or Boston-based Me2/Orchestras, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you and will respond promptly with more information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to be diagnosed with a mental health issue in order to join Me2/Orchestra?
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/Orchestra?
There is no audition necessary to join Me2/Orchestra. All interested musicians have to do is show up. Well, we’d prefer that they sign up via our website first, just so we know who is 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/Orchestra 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 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. We do have a licensed psychologist serving on our Board of Directors.
How is Me2/Orchestra different from any other orchestra?
We’ve searched high & low, but there is no other orchestra in the country that brings people together under the theme of mental health. To an observer, Me2/Orchestra looks like any other community orchestra. 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.
Below are links to some organizations that may be of interest to Me2/Orchestra members and fans (just click on the logos to visit their websites):