Andrea Tyniec, Violin
Back again to Beaver Creek Institution – SIX performances at BCI since our first musical gift to CSC.
Following the pre-concert visits to both institutions and meetings with inmate committees, internal advertising, an enthusiastic, and oversubscribed, previous performance at the Medium Institution in November 2017, dozens of letters and testimonials, a group donation, and an unusual program, finally having our best friend and supporter Douglas Parrett there on the regular basis, following all of the above – the attendance was very disappointing (approx 70 and 55 inmates respectively). The Minimum Institution was particularly disappointing. Again and again we have noted a frequent absence of prison staff, which is no longer a surprise, but rather a confirmation of a possible gap between the various stakeholders involved. Attendance is beyond our control and we are fully dependant on CSC staff and inmates in this regard. This is a challenge, but we will overcome it eventually.
The men who were present fully compensated for the aforementioned shortcomings by bestowing a cordial, enthusiastic reception on the soloist, Andrea Tyniec. Andrea again (as was the case at Grand Valley Institution for Women earlier this year) offered a program which presented a well-prepared narrative of dramatic moments in her life intertwined with the works of “alternative” composers, such as Biber, Corigliano, and Sokolovic – a musical equivalent of the same personal narrative, but retold by the violin. Her deeply personal message to the inmates was reciprocated with highly emotional and immediate feedback from the inmates. An excerpts from Les Miserables were read by Dmitri – not a great job on the greatest masterpiece of Victor Hugo, but listened to attentively nonetheless. The numerous testimonials and letters we received subsequently speak to the power and impact of Andrea’s ability to connect to the broad audience and touch their hearts and souls. The inmates letters speak for themselves:
“… I thought of giving up and just saying screw it, what’s the use? …But when I heard Andrea talk about her story… I came made to realize I should be embarrassed and ashamed of thinking of giving up… When she started playing Over the Rainbow, I went back to when I was 6 years old into my mother’s living room watching Wizard of Oz with my mother. The feeling was amazing. Felt like she was playing that just for me…”
“..It is the greater deeper mission of your organization – to bring a renewal, to reinvigorate hope to the lives of men who (like me) need it most (who society for the most part, has generally abandoned & wishes to ignore… You however, have essentially chosen to prioritize us – in essence, you are like a fish swimming against the stream – & for that I am eternally grateful… ”.
“..What a beautiful way to relax in mind, as well as body… Do not hesitate to return for another visit…”
“ … before this last visit I was growing depressed and unfocussed. Afterwards, I I have started my journey to crawl [out] of my mood and to cultivate my focus…”
“I will not spend any of this letter showering you with praises … other than saying thank you. This visit was well timed in my life and helped me realize a few flaws I must fix, and fix I shall!”.
“…after I heard Andrea Tyniec play it amazingly brought me my childhood with Over the Rainbow… It brought out my feelings of joy and memories of my family; brought me to feel love.”
In general, it was great to see many familiar faces, expressing active support and interest in our program during two very extensive and very different, but very meaningful Q&A periods. Also, while I was disappointed by the attendance, I am very satisfied with the reception and impact we achieved – classical music again and again has proven to be an effective instrument for building bridges between those on the outside and those on the inside.
Overall this was a nice way to wrap up 2018…. Thanks to everyone at BCI!