On Friday, April 26, 2024 at 10:00 a.m., approximately 50 incarcerated individuals in the Monroe County Jail’s Rehabilitation Unit (Housing Veterans/MAT Program/Drug & Alcohol Rehab) were treated to a concert by an ensemble of students and faculty from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The performance, part of the “Roc City Concerts” series, celebrates the power of live music in an effort to transcend racial, economic, ethnic and societal barriers.

The Eastman School of Music is fortunate to receive an endowment from a former faculty member who devoted his life to bringing music to others. Mr. John Celentano’s wish upon his death was to bring live chamber music performances into our community. The inaugural “ROC City Concerts” series grants that wish through the gift of music to underserved populations in the City of Rochester, to include Monroe County Jail incarcerated individuals.

“To give the gift of music to incarcerated individuals within the jail who have served our nation, and others who are struggling with addiction, is appreciated,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “Actions and circumstances led to their incarceration, yet it’s beneficial that there are people in our community who value the importance of sharing an appreciation for the arts with incarcerated individuals. Thank you to the Eastman School of Music and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra members for your gifts.”

The “ROC City Concerts” series will also be performing for veterans living at the Veterans Outreach Center’s “Richards House,” residents and clients of East House, clients of Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach and Mental Health Centers, Grace of God Recovery House, and Villa of Hope High School students. Performers played music from “West Side Story” and “Man of La Mancha,” as well as powerful selections from classical composers, such as Brahms and Shostakovich.

"All people, regardless of their current life circumstances or the choices they have made, deserve the chance to feel human, and experiencing live music is one way to accomplish this,” said Elinor Freer, ROC City Concerts Coordinator. “We at ROC City Concerts are looking forward to bringing our music out into the community and to connecting with many different types of listeners."

Thank you to the following performers for giving of your time and talent:

  • Maura McCune Corvington, horn (Rochester Philharmonic)
  • Elinor Freer, piano (Eastman School piano and chamber music faculty)
  • Yoo Jin Jang, violin (Eastman School violin faculty)
  • Holden Turner, baritone (Eastman School student and Rochester native)
  • David Ying, cello (Eastman cello faculty)

More about the Monroe County Jail’s Rehabilitation Unit (Housing Veterans/MAT Program/Drug & Alcohol Rehab):

In September 2017, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office established the Veterans Housing Unit inside the Monroe County Jail. The two-story unit houses incarcerated individuals who are military veterans, as well as other incarcerated individuals undergoing alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation. Here, veterans find support while housed together inside a special jail pod. The number of years served in the military and discharge status are not criteria for admittance. In fact, incarcerated individuals who served even one day in the military are eligible. Military veterans are offered special services while incarcerated, to include drug and alcohol rehabilitation, assistance for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, stemming from a combat situation or other type of trauma, and veteran-specific programs. There are numerous other free services offered to veterans, to include counseling, financial planning, wellness programs and educational counseling. Deputies who are military veterans, or are currently serving in the military, are often assigned to the unit to provide guidance and mentorship to those enrolled in the program. By housing veterans with other veterans, they are more likely to be successful, due to the comradery the unit provides.

In recent years, the Veterans Housing Unit expanded to also include incarcerated individuals seeking alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation and those enrolled in the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. MAT programs combine behavioral therapy and FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling, to provide a “patient-centered” approach to the treatment of those struggling with substance use disorders and addiction.

MCSO looks for ways to change lives for the better. Through these opportunities, we are saving and improving lives.

Amy Young
Communications Director
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
(585) 753-4518