[REPORT] Sunnybrook Veterans Centre 20180926

Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre, September 26, 2018

Piano Quartet – Katrina Chitty, viola;  Lukas Geniušas, piano;  Joseph Johnson cello; Andrea Tyniec, violin

Our third musical gift to Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre brought together a record audience of about 250 persons. The huge performance area was packed. We underestimated the value of the microphones and speakers – next time we will most definitely take advantage of technology to allow the music to fully reach everyone present.

Sunnybrook administration was well prepared to receive us. We felt respected and taken care of. The introduction delivered by one of the Centreès senior managers was surprisingly informative and complimentary of our past performances at the Centre.

The program, which consisted of the works of Brahms, Bruch, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart was presented by Katrina Chitty, Lukas Geniušas, Joseph Johnson, and Andrea Tyniec. It was their first very successful joint performance.  TSO’s principal cellist Joseph Johnson took the helm as quartet leader and masterfully directed the entire performance – both musically and informationally.

The audience at Sunnybrook, which included veterans, their caregivers, families, and staff, in its majority was not in a position to produce thunderous applause due to their age and disabilities, however each and every one of them appeared happy at the end of the performance – smiling faces, although the audience was very quiet. When the President of the Veterans committee suggested that they might express their appreciation to the musicians by raising one hand, hundreds of hands went up immediately. It was a most gratifying response.

Some of the responses from the audience:

“…heart happy…”

“…reminded me of the old days…”

“…relaxing afternoon.”

“very professional”

“…brought back memories.”

   

[REPORT] Warkworth 20180925

Warkworth Medium Security Institution, September 25, 2018

Lukas Geniušas, Piano

Our second event at this institution once again featured Lukas Geniušas, performing the works of Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Desyatnikov and speaking about them during the programme. Lukas played remarkably well that evening, bringing yours truly to his feet very inappropriately in the middle of Chopin’s Sonata No.3. I violated the sacred etiquette of performance and interrupted it jumping to my feet and expressing my feelings of admiration to both the pianist and the most remarkable, respectful and thankful audience of inmates.

The audience of about 80 inmates and staff included Warden Kathy Hinch, our guests and supporters.  Regrettably, we have not received very many copies of the many photographs taken at this very successful Event as we normally do. Although we observed many inmates handling the feedback forms we circulate after every performance, the institution has not forwarded those to us as of this posting. Three testimonial responses were received by postal mail directly from the inmates:

“…music took me on the journey of emotions that I have not felt in a long time, it also gave me hope for the future.”

“The event, which I have now experienced twice, took me for a journey to freedom. I could feel this freedom inside my body as well as deep into my psyche…”

“…This form of music is spiritual… its like a well of water in a secret place, that pours out freedom and a cool breeze to a troubled soul.”

   

The grand piano was delivered from Montreal by our partners from Esmonde-White Pianos.

Beaver Creek Minimum Security Institution 2018/11/14

Beaver Creek Medium Security Institution 2018/11/13

Millhaven Maximum Security Institution

Bath Medium Security Institution Centre for Spiritual Development

Return to Warkworth September 25, 2018

Return to Sunnybrook Veterans Centre September 26, 2018

Fall 2018 Concert Series

We’re delighted and excited to announce our proposed Fall 2018 Concert Series. This eight-event series includes a very special fundraising event on September 26, 2018, that promises to be an extraordinary evening of classical music with our Founding Artist, Lukas Geniušas, in an intimate setting that will offer fine food and drink along with the musical programme to a very limited number of private guests.

In addition to the Correctional Services audiences we served in the past, we will return to Sunnybrook Veterans Centre with a wonderful quartet of musicians in September and we hope to present our musical gift to St. Michael’s Hospital in December.

Stay tuned for more programme details as they become available.


September 25, 2018 at 2 pm

Warkworth Medium Security Institution, Warkworth

Lukas Geniušas, piano

 

September 26, 2018 at 2 pm

Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre, Toronto

Katrina Chitty, viola

Lukas Geniušas, piano

Joseph Johnson, cello

Andrea Tyniec, violin

 

September 26, 2018

Looking at the Stars Fundraiser, Toronto (details to follow)

Lukas Geniušas, piano

 

October 2018 (date is under review and will be announced soon)

Bath Medium Security Institution, Bath

Katrina Chitty, viola

Igor Gefter, cello

Mark Skazinetsky, violin

 

October  2018 (date is under review and will be announced soon)

Millhaven Maximum Security Institution, Bath

Katrina Chitty, viola

Igor Gefter, cello

Mark Skazinetsky, violin

 

November 13, 2018

Beaver Creek Medium Security Institution, Gravenhurst

Andrea Tyniec, violin

 

November 14, 2018

Beaver Creek Minimum Security Institution, Gravenhurst

Andrea Tyniec, violin

 

November 2018 (date is under review and will be announced soon)

St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto (planning stages)

Performers to be announced

[UPDATE] Grand Valley Minimum Security Institution for Women – March 29, 2018

Audience:
25

Artist:
Andrea Tyniec, Violin

Volunteers:
1

CSC Staff:
1

Duration:
75 minutes

This event exceeded every expectation – it wasn’t just an interactive recital, it was a dialogue between the soloist, women (80% of prison population) and… a 4-month-old Rhyder, who spent several months in prison with his mother before being born in a nearby hospital in December.  Rhyder was an active, but well-behaved listener throughout the entire Event.

Our soloist arrived with a thoroughly thought-through program – she spoke passionately, but thoughtfully about her long-lasting relationship with classical music and about the role it played during the darker and brighter moments of her life. Andrea played bravely and brilliantly, while methodically narrating her story and engaging all women and tiny Rhyder in the conversation. Suddenly, masterpieces by Kreisler, Bieber, Bach, Tchaikovsky each acquired its own undiscovered purpose and each delivered a different powerful inspirational message provoking the audience to react and reciprocate, which is well reflected in numerous testimonials received.

It was a natural conversation. Hope and optimism generated by the classical music at the times of hardships and falls was the underlying theme. And Andrea did an outstanding job in delivering this message in a personal manner, which stimulated trust and confidence in the audience, which ultimately responded to the invitation to sing Cohen’s Hallelujah and Dance Me to the End of Love, accompanied by a solo violin.

It was more than an interactive concert – it was musical confession; honest, brave and artistically professional.  This performance was an unexpected discovery of the new scenario of our future Events.  It has profoundly touched everyone present, including yours truly and Rhyder who has made history by becoming the first infant to enjoy classical music, produced by a talented young musician and 1689 Baumgartner Stradivari in such unusual venue.

Finally, I can still hardly believe, that GVI Minimum is actually a prison – the building is new and very well designed, it is a part of a magnificent landscape, which opens from almost every large window, it hosts only 30 inmates, who each reside in a separate unit, they engage in various industrial activities, buy their own food (we happened to visit on that day) it is extremely spacious, there’s no barbed wire, security appears to be minimum and the atmosphere reminded of the dormitory.  Not to mention hot water and a washroom. While they are in prison, of course – millions and millions outside (of Canada) would trade places with them. Something to think about before being unforgiving to Correctional Services Canada.

While as during our first visit we unfortunately did not have Warden or staff with us (they were a always preoccupied with other important priorities), our hostess Candice Lee was exceptionally helpful in making our visit most pleasant and memorable. GVI Minimum will go down in history for being the only site in this 3-event 2018 Spring Series, where mini-reception was arranged following the Event.