901 Now: Mid-South students work to impact communities through music

Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 7:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-South students with the non-profit PRIZM Ensemble are working to impact communities one note at a time.

“Music is very subjective, so we all have to work together to figure out how we are going to interpret it,” said Isabelle Nieves.

Nieves plays the flute for the ensemble, which aims to build a sense of community through music.

The students work together to diversify the community through chamber musical performances from community to community.

But it’s not what they are doing that drives them; instead, they say it’s what it does for others.

“You can see the expression on their faces,” violinist Elia Garcia said. “You can just see the emotion coming off of them and to me it feels very peaceful, knowing that you can bring so much emotion to somebody.”

“I’ve spent so much time working on something and I can finally share it with the community,” Owen Karney said. “Give people something to enjoy, that’s what it is for me, I’m giving back.”

Each instrument conveys its own sound, while collectively offering melodies of inspiration.

“It’s important to share what we do, music and stuff with the community,” Kaleb Johnson said. “It can inspire people to want to do that themselves, bring more creativity to the world.”

PRIZM Ensemble is composed of students from more than 30 schools across the Mid-South.

Executive director Gavin Wigginson said the students’ efforts to share their art make a positive impact.

“The youth and the professional musicians that we bring together form relationships and bonds that transcend beyond the prism walls,” Wigginson said. “It goes out to the world, and it helps to build better relationships with humanity.”

In addition to musical performances, PRIZM offers affordable and inclusive in-school instruction, music camps, and a chamber orchestra.

For more information about PRIZM, visit its website.

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