Orbit: Sphere in the Community

Sphere Ensemble forms partnerships with local nonprofits that provide services to some of the most marginalized, vulnerable members of our community. We bring Sphere directly into our partner organizations’ spaces for free live music performances, perform the same repertoire as in our concert programs, and invite dialogue on topics related to the music and relevant to program participants, staff, and volunteers. Our goal with each event is to be a source of joy, peace, inspiration, and catharsis with the knowledge that even a brief period of musical release can have a positive impact on people’s lives. 

Another goal is to give two or more performances at each of our partner sites over the course of the season and/or to return season after season. These return visits allow us to develop authentic relationships with Orbit participants, and broaden our own understanding and empathy. Sphere’s Orbit events create a wider sense of community, inspire connection, and generate a safe and nurturing space for audience members to express themselves as they are moved by our performance.

2022/2023 Season Partners Include:

El Sistema Colorado, November 2022 (performance and workshop)

Sphere began our partnership with El Sistema in 2018 and we continue it this season with a planned outreach in November 2022.  

This video shows a performance with Sphere Ensemble and students at El Sistema Colorado, the result of a three day outreach collaboration.  This is the type of dedicated and individualized outreach work that Sphere is doing in our community to bring our music directly to our partner organizations in ways that fit their needs and inspires both their community and our own. 

Sphere Executive Director/Arranger/Violist Alex Vittal wrote an arrangement of Tito Puente's "Oye Mi Guaguancó" for three distinct difficulty levels, all intended to be played together: professional parts for Sphere musicians, and parts written for two different ability levels for students of El Sistema Colorado. Over two days of rehearsals, four Sphere musicians taught the students how to play this distinctive arrangement. On day three, the entire Sphere Ensemble joined the students for a side-by-side dress rehearsal, and then performed the song together as part of a free concert for El Sistema staff, parents, other students, and friends. This experience was challenging and inspiring for the students, and was exciting for their teachers, peers, and family members to witness. Learn more about El Sistema Colorado here https://www.elsistemacolorado.org. This collaboration between Sphere Ensemble and El Sistema Colorado was made possible in part by financial support from the Denver Music Advancement Fund grant, underwritten by Denver Arts & Venues, awarded to Sphere Ensemble in December 2021. Visit https://www.artsandvenuesdenver.com/denver-music-advancement-fund to learn more.

Gilliam Youth Service Center, March 2023 (performance)

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Sphere began our partnership with Gilliam in 2019 and continues this season with a planned outreach in March 2023.  

Gilliam opened in April of 1903 and is the oldest state operated secure detention holding center in Colorado, with capacity for up to sixty-four youth ages 10 to 18, both male and female.  Gilliam is a Denver Public School site, and qualifying students are able to participate in the school’s GED program. Through restorative principles, youth progress in their ability to handle a wide variety of social/emotional issues and situations in a healthy way, and learn to become responsible, productive citizens while keeping the community safe.

Here are some responses we received from the youth after the performances:

 

"The entire group came out, not just one or two people."

"Music is very therapeutic"

"I like that they looked passionate about doing that."

"They knew what they were doin', it was smooth!  I want them to keep coming!"

The Gathering Place, September 2022 (performance)

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We performed our “Women’s Work” concert in September 2022, which featured works by women composers at The Gathering Place which offers services to women, transgender people, and children, in order to combat poverty and address the impacts of marginalization and oppression that often contribute to poverty or homelessness.  More information about The Gathering Place at https://tgpdenver.org.

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Karis Community, March 2023 (performance and discussion)

In March 2023 our "Kaleidoscope" concert will feature works by living composers, particularly women and BIPOC.  For our outreach event at Karis Community, which provides transitional housing and clinical care for people experiencing mental illness, we are working together with their staff to design a program that includes discussions about and works by composers who themselves struggled with mental health issues. Learn more about Karis community at https://kariscommunity.org

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Past Season Partners Include:

 2021/2022 Season 

April 2022

  • El Sistema Colorado (workshop)

  • Gilliam Youth Services Center (performances)

February 2022

  • El Sistema Colorado (multi-day workshop)

October 2021

  • El Sistema Colorado (workshop)

2020/2021 Season

2019/2020​ Season

November 2019:

  • Gilliam Youth Services Center (performances)

September 2019:

  • Metro Caring (performance with free food)

June 2019:

  • Children's Hospital Colorado (performance)

  • University of Colorado Hospital, Anschutz Campus: Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Units (performance)

2018/2019 Season

January 2019:

  • The Center on Colfax: Rainbow Alley (performance and discussion)

  • Custer County School, Westcliffe, CO (performances)

September 2018:

  • Brookside Inn Skilled Nursing Facility (performance)

  • El Sistema Colorado (workshop)  

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