“The music reminds me that I am still human and renews my ambition to resolve my circumstances.”
For Julie Leven, one of the founders of Shelter Music Boston, words like that are truly “music to her ears.” Started three years ago, SMB performs professional chamber music concerts in five Boston shelters each month. The musicians, Julie, Julia and Rebecca, are all professionals with impressive experience playing in some of the world’s best known concert halls. And yet, as Julie commented to us when we met last week, “it is an honor to do this work.” With the same musicians returning month after month, a rapport and personal connection with the shelter’s residents is often possible and only enhances the experience.
Shelter staff report that on concert nights residents sleep better, go to bed earlier and conflicts, so often a part of shelter life, diminish. In truth, the entire atmosphere and dynamic changes for the better.
We loved meeting Julie and hearing her passion for this work which has flawlessly matched her love for social justice with her love of music. Why should beautiful music be limited only to those who can afford a ticket to a concert hall? With SMB’s trio, the sounds of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and others are available to those who can most benefit from their soothing tones. It was an honor for the Good People Fund to underwrite the cost of a series of concerts for two additional shelters in Boston for the coming year.