Reconnecting, a new musical composition for full orchestra and drum circle, was conceived and developed by composer Ben Goldberg and Central Ohio Symphony Executive Director Warren Hyer to create a musical dialogue about a unique local rehabilitation program for juvenile offenders with mental illness or substance abuse issues. The piece will be a single movement work of approximately 10 to 15 minutes, to be premiered during the Symphony’s 2014-15 concert season.
The Central Ohio Symphony expands its new criminal justice program utilizing therapeutic group drumming to engage court-involved adolescents and adults with substance use disorders and/or mental illnesses. In 2014, the program is adding adults in the Delaware Municipal Mental Health Docket and adult therapy at program partner Maryhaven, a local nonprofit treatment provider, as well as continuing to work with the Delaware County Juvenile Court. The program’s goal is to help juvenile offenders and adults gain control over their mental illness and/or substance disorder, take responsibility for their offense and their personal development, and reconnect as healthier individuals with their families and community. Each interactive session is led by Symphony musicians and a treatment counselor, all trained in therapeutic drum circle facilitation. Sessions take place every two weeks, with each session 50 minutes long. The length of the juvenile program is nine months to one year, and, for adults, up to two years. This is a pioneering program not only for a symphony, but also for the courts and the therapeutic drumming movement.
The therapeutic drumming program has led to significant improvement for participants as measured by the social connectedness assessment used by the court. The Symphony has received national recognition for its work with the courts and Remo HealthRHYTHMS™ training organization. Symphony members have presented program demonstrations to the Maryhaven staff, the Juvenile Court staff, the Delaware Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, the Association of Ohio Music Therapists, and the Specialized Dockets Conference of the Ohio Supreme Court.