ME2/Orchestra to perform May 5 at Southern Vermont Arts Center

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MANCHESTER — The Me2/Orchestra, the world's only classical music organization created for people with mental illnesses and the people who support them, will perform on Saturday, May 5 at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in honor of the 60th anniversary of United Counseling Service of Bennington County.

Me2/, founded in the fall of 2011, serves as a model organization where people with and without mental illnesses work together in an environment where acceptance is expectation, patience is encouraged, and supporting each other is a priority. The mission of Me2/ is to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness, including addiction, through supportive classical music ensembles and inspiring performances.

A non-auditioned orchestra, Me2 rehearses weekly and performs 3 to 4 times a year in traditional concert venues, inside correctional and rehabilitation facilities, and for mental health events.

"We are so excited to have the Me2/Orchestra perform in our community," said Lorna Mattern, executive director of UCS. "Every performance brings them closer to meeting their mission to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is going to be a very special event and a wonderful evening of music."

UCS provides outpatient counseling and addictions services, emergency mental health services, extensive rehabilitation services, home and school-based services, employment services for people recovering from mental illness or with developmental disabilities and a Head Start and Early Start program. United Counseling Service has provided support and guidance to individuals and families since 1958.

The concert will take place May 5 at 7 p.m. in the Arkell Pavilion at Southern Vermont Arts Center. Admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students and veterans, and free for children under 10. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.com. For special pricing or group discounts, call 802-442-5491.

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