From 2009 to 2012, the Toomai String Quintet was a participating artist in Musical Connections, a program of the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall. Through this partnership, Toomai visited dozens of medical facilities, shelters, community centers, and correctional facilities throughout the New York area, presenting interactive programming for a wide range of audiences.
Members of Toomai devoted their energies towards various innovative new pilot programs, exploring ways in which music can be used in treatment; its impact on quality of life among limited-mobility audiences; and its usage in non-traditional performance spaces. Through the shared experience of music, Toomai had the opportunity to develop lasting and meaningful relationships with both residents and staff at numerous host facilities.
In addition to making repeat visits to Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Toomai was the 2011 Ensemble-in-Residence at Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, NY. In this partnership, Toomai curated a monthly concert series in Jacobi’s beautiful atrium, often in collaboration with fantastic musicians also on the Musical Connections roster, including Falu, Slavic Soul Party!, Camille Zamora, and others. Toomai also conducted workshops with patients and staff in Oncology, Behavioral Health, Pediatric Inpatient, and Geriatric-Psychiatric Inpatient units. Toomai, Jacobi staff and Carnegie administrators worked together to cultivate a musical environment, and to achieve an understanding of the impact a culture of music can have in aiding hospital staff in their duties, and in facilitating general well-being in hospital environs.