An orchestra stands facing an audience. The front row of the orchestra features violinists and cellists.

Me2/ Orchestra brought Beethoven to Southern Vermont Arts Center May 13

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Me2/ Orchestra of Burlington performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 at Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC)’s Arkell Pavilion on Saturday, May 13, in celebration of United Counseling Service (UCS)’s 65th anniversary year. Led by Music Director and Conductor, Michael J. Colburn, Me2/ Burlington is an ensemble of Me2/ Orchestra, an organization now based in Boston, MA, created for people with mental illnesses and those who support them. Over 200 people attended the concert, which was Me2/ Burlington’s last one slated for the year.

The mission of Me2/ is to erase the stigma of mental illness (including addiction) through supportive classical music rehearsals and inspiring performances. Wherever Me2/ goes, you can find a sign close by that says, “you are now entering a stigma free zone”.

UCS Executive Director, Lorna Mattern, welcomed the audience and spoke to current challenges in Bennington County, including the significant increase in mental health crises. Other speakers throughout the evening included Conductor Michael Colburn, Me2/ Burlington Managing Director, Phoenix Crockett, and clarinetist Melanie Brown. Brown shared her testimony about being diagnosed with a mental illness, joining Me2/ Orchestra, and the importance of talking about mental health in schools. The orchestra performed all five movements of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and received a standing ovation at the close of the concert. UCS looks forward to hosting Me2/ Burlington again in the future in support of fighting the stigma often associated with mental illness.

More information about Me2/ Orchestra can be found at, including an upcoming Family Fun Day on May 30 in Burlington, VT. Please visit to learn about United Counseling Service and how it serves Bennington County.

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