GraceNotes Prison Outreach Program

About Our Organization: GraceNotes, founded in 2013, brings classical chamber music concerts to inmates in correctional facilities in the region. The musicians who participate are conservatory-trained players who perform throughout the New York area and nationally. We present an audience-friendly, varied, and colorful program ranging from classics to jazz standards. Programs last approximately one hour, including a question and answer period where audience members can speak directly to the musicians. To date, we have played seven concerts.

Our concerts have been received with standing ovations, and prison staff and inmates alike request return visits. The concerts typically include music by Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Bartok, jazz standards, and several encores. The other musicians and I conduct a Q&A afterwards with excellent participation by attendees. We have been impressed and moved by the thoughtful, inquisitive, and highly appreciative responses we receive from the GraceNotes audience members, many of whom have never experienced this type of live music at close range, and we receive numerous requests to return.

Going Forward:  The vision for GraceNotes is to be able to continue to bring our concerts to correctional facilities in the region, and we are in need of additional funding to do so.  Each GraceNotes concert costs approximately $1,500 with all funds going directly to the musicians’ expenses.  All donations are tax-deductible through our umbrella organization, The Chappaqua Orchestra, a 501c(3) organization.

Additionally, we recently had the opportunity to bring along a noted writer who will chronicle the event for The Rotarian.  This will enable us to spread the word further about GraceNotes and find additional support.

Studies show that correctional facilities with education and enrichment programs create an environment where individuals are much more likely to succeed upon re-entry to the outside world, and far less likely to return to incarceration.

We believe that GraceNotes is part of that solution.

Ways to Donate:  Sponsoring a performer for a concert with a tax-deductible contribution of $200 would be very helpful, but any donation is appreciated.

  • By mail: Make your check payable to The Chappaqua Orchestra  **Write "GraceNotes Outreach" on the memo line. Mail to:

The Chappaqua Orchestra, PO Box 461, Chappaqua, NY 10514.

Thank you in advance for your encouragement and support.

Cynthia Peterson, DMA

GraceNotes Outreach (914) 262-7893

Artistic Director, Chappaqua Orchestra Chamber Series