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Classical music from Bach to Jay-Z

Teens at the Leadership Center were treated to a special performance last week by a trio of students from The Juilliard School. Two violinists and a pianist came to the facility and performed a variety of classical pieces for the boys.

It was more than a recital, though. The musicians interacted with the residents, talking to them about their musical interests, introducing them to famous composers, and even taking requests for everything from the Pirates of the Caribbean and Titanic theme songs to Jay-Z and Coldplay.

This the third visit by Juilliard students as part of the Gluck Community Service Fellowship (GCSF), a program that provides for more than 450 performances at 47 New York City health care facilities each year. Each visit has brought a different group of students, exposing residents to a variety of disciplines.

The residents have responded very well to the performances, connecting with the musicians and asking questions about their instruments and training. One resident, Reginald, said that he is motivated to go to college, pursue a musical career and volunteer his time to others. Louis likes the performances because they expose him to new things and “change his thought process.”

Shalawn Barry, a social worker at the Leadership Center, applied for the program because she thought it would help keep residents engaged in treatment. “I think it’s important to expose our teens to new experiences to enhance their educational and social experiences while at Odyssey House,” said Ms. Barry.

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