March 9, 2023
Me2/Boston, a classical music organization geared toward people with mental illnesses, will launch its “stigma free chorus” in Dorchester on March 14 under the new direction of conductor Johnny Nichols Jr.
The organization, which hosts a 60-piece orchestra and rehearses weekly in the Epiphany Early Learning Center on Centre Street, plans to expand its offerings. People with mental health diagnoses and “anyone who wishes to make music in a caring environment” are welcome to join, no auditions or fees required, according to Me2/Boston.
Almost 50 percent of the organization’s musicians have diagnoses like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, addiction, borderline personality disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Other musicians, who may not have a diagnosis, contribute by using “their musical skills to further the organization’s social mission.”
Nichols, a Louisiana native, is a vocal clinician, and the artistic director and conductor of the Ipswich River Community Chorus, as well as a conductor with the Boston Children’s Chorus. After struggling with his own mental health, he began working to destigmatize mental illness and help those less able to voice their struggles.
“I am thrilled to be working with such a powerful and trailblazing organization,” he said.
“The Me2/Boston Chorus will be filled with great music designed to tell our stories, inspire those listening, and build a community of talented musicians. No matter your age or experience level, we would love to see you there!”
The Me2/Boston Chorus will rehearse Tuesday evenings starting March 14 at the Epiphany Early Learning Center, just a minute or two walk from the Shawmut Red Line stop. Anyone who wants to join should send an email to email@example.com. For more information, contact Me2/ at (802) 238-8369 or visit memusic.org.