Community Outreach

The Artists-in-the-Community program is directed primarily to students and to the clients and patients of health care organizations in the region — including hospitals and nursing homes, senior centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and learning centers for the physically and mentally challenged — those in the community not able to attend formal concerts and not otherwise able to enjoy the educational, social, and theraputic benefits of live classical music. By providing year-round community outreach presentations, guitarists Laura Oltman and Michael Newman actively fulfill their commitment to help enrich the lives of area residents and make music an important part of people’s everyday lives. The following headlines eloquently addressed the work of residency: "Guitar Duo Weaving Music Into Fabric Of Community." –Hunterdon County Democrat "Math and Music: Perfect Together" –Courier-News "Guitar duo keys on health and education" –The Morning Call "Music Where It’s Needed" –Hunterdon County Democrat


Through the nationally recognized Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program, Raritan River Music provides year-round interactive Community Outreach presentations for the clients, residents, and patients of northwestern and central New Jersey ’s health care facilities and students (K-12).

The Artists-in-the Community Educational Outreach efforts include integrated learning programs—designed with educators, teachers, and school staff— tailored to create cross-curricular connections for each class’s current unit of study, enhance class curricula, and help achieve state-mandated goals of the New Jersey Core Curriculum for various age groups. Through the use of music, these educational programs demonstrate to the students various cultural, historical, and scientific aspects of the world around them. By participating in music, they are able to gain a greater understanding of the influence of music and the arts on people’s lives.

From Distant Lands traces the history of the guitar from the ancient Middle East , through the Balkans and Africa into Europe , and on to the new World. Included are discussions and illustrations of geography, history, literature, cultural migration, and musical styles.

Math and Music Together explores ratios, fractions, and other mathematic relationships through interactive performance and demonstration of meters and rhythmic patterns.

Music in Nature emphasizing the connection between music and the natural world around us, including discussions of rain-forest conservation and sustainable resources in the context of musical instrument construction and the sounds of wildlife.

NEW: Fiesta focuses on music in Spanish and Latin American cultures, relating music, language, and history of Spanish-speaking nations.

Raritan River Concerts’ Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program is proud to have served the students, faculty, and administration of the following educational institutions:

North Hunterdon Regional High School
Voorhees High School Hunterdon
Central Regional High School
Bloomsbury Public School
The Rock Brook School
The Midland School
Hunterdon Learning Center
Holland Township Elementary School
Merck Child Learning Center
Stewartsville Public School
Lebanon Township — Bunnvale School
Readington Township — Three Bridges School
Readington Township — Whitehouse School
Clinton Public School
Franklin Township Schools
Chapin School
Branchburg Township Schools
The Lawrenceville School
Whiton School
Retired Educators Association of New Jersey
Cold Brook Music and Arts Camp
The Atrium for Health—Senior Learning Program
Hunterdon Teen Arts Festival


The Artists-in-the-Community Health Care Outreach presentations are provided, on a year-round basis, to the underserved constituents of the region at local hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and learning centers for the physically and mentally challenged—those in the community not often able to attend formal concerts and not otherwise able to enjoy the educational, social, and therapeutic benefits of live classical music. The presentations at these facilities are provided free-of-charge to enhance their regular programs.

Music plays an important role in healing. Developed with the guidance of health care professionals to assist in multiple healing modalities, RRM’s discussions and demonstrations address many critical patient issues through the role of music in healing, including:

  • Social connection
  • Recreation without drugs
  • Memory stimulation
  • Sharing experiences
  • Reminiscence therapy
  • Relief of isolation

The Artists-in-the-Community Program was established with a special grant from Chamber Music America and with support from Merck & Co., Inc., Ethicon, Inc., Hunterdon Medical Center , New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and the Hunterdon Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program is proud to have served the residents, patients, and clients of the following health care organizations:

Sharing Village Cancer Survivor Group
Hunterdon Medical Center
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Program
Hunterdon Care Center
Hunterdon Senior Center
Hunterdon Developmental Center
Hunterdon Learning Center
ARC of Hunterdon
Hunterdon Medical Society
HMC-Behavioral Health Dept.’s Day Hospital
HMC-Blood Donor Services
HMC-Physical Therapy
Anderson House
The Atrium for Health
The Rock Brook School
The Midland School
American Cancer Society
Somerset Hills Adult Day Care
Stone Arch Care Center
North Hunterdon Senior Center
Freedom House


"Laura and Michael are true artists. They give of themselves and are doing something that needs to be done." -Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission

The Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program was established in 1995 with a Matching Grant from Chamber Music America (one of only six new programs funded nationwide) and with assistance from the Hunterdon Medical Center.

Designed to bring the joys of live, intimate, classical music performances and discussions to schools and health care facilities throughout the area, the program receives major funding from Merck & Co., Inc. and Ethicon, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company). Additional support is provided by Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and numerous businesses and iindividuals statewide through contributions to Raritan River Concerts.

The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo is a 1997-98 participant in Chamber Music America’s A Musical Celebration of the Millennium. Support for concerts, residency work and commissions that are part of this program comes from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and the CMA Endowment Fund.