Three Ohio orchestras collaborate for first time on special commission for Mindful Music Moments

This spring, The Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Symphony are collaborating for the very first time. A new composition by Dr. Brian Raphael Nabors will have four members of each orchestra play one movement, and then all twelve will participate in the finale. The 12-minute piece is to be influenced by students who participate in Mindful Music Moments, a program of Cincinnati-based nonprofit The Well.

Composer Brian Raphael Nabors

This new work will be played over four weeks in May as part of Mindful Music Moments. These moments of calm and reflection bring classical music and mindfulness to 260 schools daily (229 in Ohio), in partnership with these three Ohio orchestras. At the beginning of each school day, during the time of announcements, students are asked to remain quiet, relax, and focus their minds, actively listening to a musical composition.

Students, K-12, will share short responses about what they think this piece should sound and feel like. Dr. Nabors will then use these responses to guide the composition of the short, four-movement work for string quartet.

Additionally, a short film will document the process, created by Cincinnati filmmaker Asa Featherstone. The film will be available in June (date and streaming service TBA), and also made available on a new Wellness Channel for patients at UC Health. Dr. John and Susan Tew support the Wellness Channel and this is their second commission for Mindful Music Moments.

Susan and Dr. John Tew

Brian Raphael Nabors’ music draws from combinations of jazz, funk, R&B, and gospel with the modern flair of contemporary classical music. He earned both a doctor of musical arts and master of music degree in composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

The award-winning programs of The Well – including Mindful Music Moments, Mindful Poetry Moments, City Silence and True Body Project – combine aspects of mindfulness, arts, social-emotional learning, play, movement and poetry into practices for regular use within schools, hospitals, and communities.

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