Colburn Teams Up with Street Symphony to Serve Homeless and Incarcerated Communities

A conservatory violinist performs at the Weingart Center, a human services center for homeless men and women living in Skid Row.

Students, faculty, and ensembles at the Colburn School have long worked with Street Symphony to bring music to the homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles. On Friday, November 17, the two organizations formalized their partnership in a panel discussion featuring Street Symphony founder Vijay Gupta and Community Engagement Director Nathaniel Zeisler, which capped off a week of performances around the Southern California area.

The partnership will provide opportunities for students to deepen their commitment to the community through three main initiatives. First, Street Symphony will bring in the Sunrise Quartet as part of a new ensemble-in-residence program. The quartet will perform for regular Street Symphony functions and design their own programming. Second, members of the Colburn community will perform at LA County jails and homeless shelters on Skid Row, and in Street Symphony’s Messiah Project held each year at the Midnight Mission. Finally, one Colburn student or alumni will intern with organization each year to gain a deep understanding of arts administration, non-profit management, and community engagement through music.

During the panel discussion on November 17, Mr. Gupta asked and inspired Conservatory students to commit to do more in the community. Dr. Zeisler then announced the formal partnership with Street Symphony as a part of the pledge the Community Engagement Program is making.

Throughout the week, students and faculty performed with Street Symphony as part of Colburn’s Community Engagement Week. On November 14, faculty members and the Sunrise Quartet performed in a concert at an LA County Jail, and Conservatory students performed at the Weingart Center, a human services center for homeless men and women living in Skid Row, on November 16.

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