Personal Summary / Bio
Sarasa is a collective group of international instrumentalists and vocalists who perform classical music of outstanding quality, and bring this music to diverse communities. Through the ensemble's outreach program in adolescent detention facilities, Sarasa is dedicated to bridging cultural, aesthetic, and economic barriers and providing incarcerated teenagers with opportunities for growth and enrichment through music.History of Sarasa
Sarasa was formed in response to a concert played by its founder, Timothy Merton, in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in 1997, at the urging of a friend who was a prison volunteer. An inmate who heard that first concert remarked, "When art is well executed, it projects a message that transcends language, culture, and even aesthetic boundaries." Sarasa took these words to heart and since then has been bringing high-quality music to those who ordinarily have little access to it. In addition to its public concerts, the ensemble plays in adult and adolescent correctional facilities, homes for the elderly, mental hospitals, and institutions for the disabled. Sarasa also does three-week residencies in grade schools, using drawing and writing to bring children to a meaningful understanding of classical music.
The name Sarasa is derived from a combination of Saraswathi, the Hindu goddess of art and culture, and the poetic sanscrit word rasa denoting the essence of sound.