Mentally ill and their backers fill Vt. orchestra

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 26 at 4:02 PM

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The entertainment for Burlington's First Night celebration on New Year's Eve will include an orchestra designed to be a musical home for people with mental illness and their supporters.

The Me2/orchestra is the brainchild of the former conductor and the general manager of the Vermont Youth Orchestra.

Former conductor Ronald Braunstein has lived with bipolar disorder for most of his 58 years. Former general manager Caroline Whiddon has struggled with anxiety and depression.

The orchestra bills itself as "the world's only classical music organization for individuals with mental illness and the people who support them."

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