Chicago Symphony Orchestra
In April 2013, Sara Lee and Nick Hayes boarded transatlantic flights heading for Chicago. The Trust had been invited to collaborate with musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) to share our considerable expertise of working with prisoners.
Sara and Nick showed CSO oboist Lora Schaefer and double-bass player Daniel Armstrong the well-honed Music in Prisons approach, working with a group of young men at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Centre to create a set of original new songs and work towards a performance in just six days (a day more than usual!). A small ensemble from the CSO joined the band for the last two days, providing a specially orchestrated accompaniment composed by Nick to complement the four songs written by the group.
The band gave two special performances, with audiences including family members and CSO Music Director, conductor Riccardo Muti. Speaking after the emotional performance, Muti addressed the young men:
You can listen to a short radio piece about the 2013 project here.
Sara and Nick were invited to return in March 2014 to work again with the CSO in Chicago and at Carnegie Hall in New York. You can read Sara’s blog updates from the 2014 project here.
Again, the project was such a resounding success that Sara and Nick were invited back for a third visit in March 2015. Read Sara’s ‘postcards’ from the project here.