[UPDATE] 2019 Event Schedule – Fall Series

We’ve begun to receive confirmations from our proposed Fall Series venues. Follow us on Facebook for more updates as they become available.


September 18 Fall Fundraiser
Toronto  (details TBD)

October 10
Grand Valley Institution for Women, Kitchener
(Lukas Geniusas, piano)

October 11
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution, Bath
(Jonathan Crow, violin; Lukas Geniusas, piano; Joseph Johnson, cello)

October 11
Bath Medium Security Institution, Bath
(Jonathan Crow, violin; Lukas Geniusas, piano; Joseph Johnson, cello)

October 15
Archambault Medium Security Institution, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines
(Lukas Geniusas, piano)

A Special Gift to a Very Special Supporter

Photos from our 30-minute visit to Baycrest Centre in Toronto with a musical gift for Mr. Roberto Martella, a most enthusiastic supporter of Looking at the Stars for a very long time.

The string trio (Katrina Chitty, Bryan Holt and Jeremy Pitts) included among their classical repertoire a soulful rendition of Roberto’s favourite composition, O Sole Mio.

[REPORT] April 2019

Fundraising Concert at Grace-Church-on-the-Hill

NEW LOGO

Today we are more conscious about who we are and what we do – our purpose and our impact. Our new logo was designed to reflect just that – bringing Classical Music to the Hearts of the Neglected People in the Darkest corners, inspiring them to Look at the Stars again. I would like to thank my dear friend and extraordinary painter Mr. Mark Kanovich for producing the unique graphics and our marketing mentors and helpers from Barrett and Welsh for integrating the text. The previous transitional logo, created by our technical director Mr. Mychol Scully has served us well and we appreciate Mychol’s ongoing support.

We’re going to British Columbia!

[UPDATE] 2019 Event Schedule

We’re pleased to present these confirmed musical gifts for 2019. We will continue to add more dates and venues as we are able to arrange them.

(Editor’s note:  Millhaven Maximum Institution has confirmed our attendance on April 25.)

April 9
Bath Medium Institution (Bath, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10d

April 11
Collins Bay Medium Security Institution (Kingston, ON)
String Trio (Igor Gefter, cello; Mark Skazinetsky, violin; Katrina Chitty, viola)
Program
Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bach – Brandenburg No. 3
Haydn – Emperor Variations
Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Beethoven – Serenade Op. 8 (1st mvmt)
Mozart – Rondo – String Quartet No. 6
Bruch – Kol Nidrei
Gershwin – I Got Rhythm
Shostakovich – Romance
Bartok – Romanian Folk Dances
Piazzolla – Libertango
Charlie Chaplin – Smile
Jay Unger – Ashokan Farewell

April 11
Collins Bay Minimum Institution (Kingston, ON)
String Trio (Igor Gefter, cello; Mark Skazinetsky, violin; Katrina Chitty, viola)
Program
Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bach – Brandenburg No. 3
Haydn – Emperor Variations
Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Beethoven – Serenade Op. 8 (1st mvmt)
Mozart – Rondo – String Quartet No. 6
Bruch – Kol Nidrei
Gershwin – I Got Rhythm
Shostakovich – Romance
Bartok – Romanian Folk Dances
Piazzolla – Libertango
Charlie Chaplin – Smile
Jay Unger – Ashokan Farewell

April 12
Grand Valley (Medium) Institution for Women (Kitchener, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 16
Warkworth Medium Security Institution (Warkworth, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 25
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution (Bath, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 30
Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre (Abbotsford, BC)
Lukas Geniusas, piano
Program
Rachmaninov
Chopin
Gershwin

October 11
Bath Medium Security Institution (Bath, ON)
Piano Trio (Lukas Geniusas, piano; Jonathan Crow, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello)
Program TBD

October 11
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution  (Bath, ON)
Piano Trio (Lukas Geniusas, piano; Jonathan Crow, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello)
Program TBD

Official Endorsement by CSC

We are very excited to present this official endorsement by Commissioner Anne Kelly, Correctional Service Canada. This formal acknowledgment of the value and impact our musical gifts provide to federal prison inmates is a welcome validation of Vision and Mission of Looking at the Stars Foundation.

Excerpt:

“CSC is pleased to acknowledge the laudable efforts of the Looking at the Stars Foundation’s classical music concert initiative in recognition of the value it has brought to the offender population.”

Read the full letter from Commissioner Kelly HERE.


Commissioner Kelly also sent a personal note to our Board Chair, Mr. Bob Rae.

Excerpt:

“According to CSC policy, the Warden is responsible for establishing procedures for the approval and implementation of special events. In light of the value this initiative brings to the offender population, I will be encouraging Wardens to consider welcoming a Looking at the Stars concert at their institutions.”

Read Commissioner Kelly’s letter to our Board Chair, Mr. Bob Rae, HERE.

[UPDATE] Spring Meditation Fundraising Concert

Looking at the Stars is pleased to present our first fundraising concert of the year, in the historic Grace Church on-the-Hill in Forest Hill, Toronto. Since our founding in 2015, we have provided 19 gifts of live classical music to Canadian federal prisons and 11 concerts to hospitals or long-term care facilities. These events are supported exclusively by patrons and private donations from caring individuals like you who recognize the power of live classical music to heal and inspire. Please consider purchasing concert tickets with optional donation to allow us to continue providing these important musical gifts to those who need them most. Donations of $100.00 or more qualify you as a VIP attendee to enjoy a post-concert meet & greet with the Performing Artists and Looking at the Stars Executive.

As part of this evening’s experience, our Artist In Residence, Mr. S Gordon Harwood, will create a new painting inspired by the evening during the performances, which will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Mr. Harwood has created numerous paintings during concert events in several prison institutions, which were then donated to their respective Inmate Committees.

As a registered charity we can provide a tax receipt for the donation portion of your purchase. To receive a charitable tax receipt for the donation portion of your purchase, please email info@lookingatthestars.org with your request. Charitable Registration No. 77958 5298 RR0001.
Tickets go on sale February 1, 2019. Purchase your tickets at www.lookingatthestars.org/tickets.

[REPORT] Beaver Creek Medium Nov. 13 and Beaver Creek Minimum Nov. 14

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!