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Mindful Music Moments

Imagine an entire school – students, teachers, and administrators – taking time each morning to turn inward together, and listen to a brief mindfulness prompt and world-class music.

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Wonder Commission

The Wonder Commission is a new music commission of The Well, composed by Dr. Brian Raphael Nabors and performed by the Antigone Music Collective. Inspiration for the new music emerges from Nabors' conversation with writer, physicist, and professor at MIT, Alan Lightman. The new music–and accompanying documentary by Asa Featherstone IV–will premiere in Fall 2024 online and in The Well's Mindful Music Moments program now in over 300 schools nationwide.

Photos of Alan Lightman and Brian Raphael Nabors on a background of space.


Thursday, February 8, 2024, 6–8p– The commission began with an evening of conversation, music, and wonder with panelists Alan Lightman and Dr. Brian Raphael Nabors, with live music played by The Antigone Music Collective and introductions by astronomer Dean Regas and retired neurosurgeon Dr. John Tew. 

Read About The Event Here

Access Digital Program Here


Dr. Brian Raphael Nabors

Alan Lightman

Antigone Music Collective

Asa Featherstone IV

Wonder Commission Collaborator Bios

Dr. Brian Raphael Nabors

Brian Raphael Nabors (b.1991, Birmingham, AL) is a composer of emotionally enriching
music that tells exciting narratives with its vibrant themes and colorful harmonic language.
Nabors' music has been performed by the Boston, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort
Worth, and Munich Symphonies, among others. His music has been performed at many events across the US and internationally, including the National Orchestral Institute (NOI) and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Nabors’ music draws from combinations of Jazz Funk, R&B, and Gospel with the modern flair of contemporary classical music.

He was named a 2021 composition fellow of the Tanglewood music festival; a 2019
composer fellow in the American Composers Orchestra’s Earshot program with the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra; a 2019 composer fellow with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s
Composer Lab; and 2019 cycle five grand prize winner of the Rapido! National Composition
Contest. Nabors was also a 2020 Fulbright scholarship recipient to Sydney, Australia,
studying with composer Carl Vine at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Nabors earned a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree in Composition at the
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a Bachelor of Music
Theory & Composition degree from the School of the Arts at Samford University.

Nabors has previously worked with The Well during a 2019 residency at Cincinnati Music Resource Center, the 2020-2021 All-Ohio Commission (TheWell.World/Collaborations/All-Ohio-Commission) and serves on the board of A Mindful Moment, the 501(c)(3) that nourishes the work of The Well (TheWell.World/Staff). The Well is forever grateful for the time, talents, and wisdom that Brian brings to our world!

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman is an American writer and physicist. He received his PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology. Since then, Lightman has done research on the astrophysics of black holes, astrophysical radiation processes, and stellar dynamics. Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was the first person at MIT to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities. He is currently professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. He is the author of numerous publications in the Atlantic, Harper’s, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and many other newspapers and magazines. His many books both nonfiction and fiction, include "Einstein’s Dreams," an international bestseller, "The Diagnosis," a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction, and "Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine," the basis of a three-part PBS television series titled “SEARCHING: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science,” which premiered in January 2023. Lightman has won numerous awards for his work and has six honorary degrees. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Lightman is also the founder of Harpswell, a nonprofit that works to empower young women in Southeast Asia.

Antigone Music Collective

The Antigone Music Collective is a nonprofit organization dedicated to new music. Based in Cincinnati, the mission is to bring accessible modern music to more audiences. Antigone Music Collective is committed to providing a space for the performance of living and underrepresented composers’ works by dedicated new music specialists. This will be done through a regular public concert series and commissioning efforts like our flagship project, the Antigone Quartet Prize, and other efforts like yearly calls for new works. Works produced from our commissioning efforts will be performed in concert with modern era masterworks and other new music works that deserve more recognition. This ultimately cultivates a community that brings classical music into the 21st Century by bringing a diverse array of new music to audiences that are often excluded from the audiences of classical music. The Antigone Music Collective is lead by Liam Battle and Amelia Korbitz.

Asa Featherstone, IV

Asa (AY-suh) Featherstone, IV (b. 1994) is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based artist who makes photographs and films highlighting the shared experiences that make us human. His works prioritize the beauty and nuance of daily Black life through story, exploring themes of place, rest, joy, and strife, in a tone that gives voice to communities of color.

In 2017 he was an artist resident at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver where he made original work for the museum’s programming team, and in 2020 was recognized for having one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 portraits of that year. His most recent archival photo book: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, in collaboration with the Cincinnati Art Museum, featured on Google’s Arts & Culture page exploring the experience for emerging and established artists of color in the United States.

Featherstone, IV has been a visiting artist, instructor, and curator at several institutions including the Museum at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Antioch College, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Connect with Asa's work at

Dean Regas

Dr. John Tew

Wonder Commission Event Speakers

Dean Regas

We're thrilled to welcome Dean Regas to The Well for our kickoff event on February 8, 2024!

Dean Regas is a renowned public speaker, author, educator, national popularizer of astronomy and an expert in observational astronomy. He served as the astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory from
2000-2023. He is the author of six books including "100 Things to See in the Night Sky" and “How to Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto”. From 2010-2019 Dean was the co-host of the PBS program Star Gazers. Dean has contributed to Astronomy Magazine, Sky and Telescope Magazine, Farmer's Almanac, USAToday, Science Friday and Here & Now. He is also the host of a popular astronomy podcast called "Looking Up with Dean Regas." Dean brings the complicated field of astronomy down to Earth for people of all ages. Connect with Dean's work at

Dr. John Tew

We're thrilled to welcome our friend Dr. John Tew to The Well for our kickoff event on February 8, 2024!

John Tew, Jr., MD, leads the growth of UC Health Integrative Medicine, which helps the whole person achieve overall wellness, and the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, which was established at the College of Medicine in 2012 to educate medical students, fellows and faculty on integrative medicine concepts to improve the way current and future physicians practice medicine. With an integrative medicine physician and a variety of practitioners, patients develop personalized plans for self-care to promote stress reduction, optimize health function, preempt disease and prevent relapse.
Dr. Tew previously served as the Clinical Director of UC Neuroscience Institute for 15 years and has been a neurosurgeon since 1969. He served for 20 years as the Chairman in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and for 19 of those years as the Director of the Division of Cerebrovascular Surgery. Dr. Tew was the Frank H. Mayfield Professor of Neurosurgery from 1993-2002. He has been a neurosurgical pioneer in the areas of microsurgery, lasers, image-guided surgery, and trigeminal neuralgia. In March 2013 the UC Department of Neurosurgery announced the funding of the John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology.

Dr. Tew has been a steadfast friend of The Well since its founding in 2019 and is now part of our Emeritus Board. His wisdom and guidance have been a blessing to The Well's early years and we are thrilled to welcome him for this inspiring night!

Mindfulness Guides


“We are all made of stardust, connected to the universe in ways we can't even fathom.”

- Alan Lightman



H.B., E.W. & F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation,  Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee.

The views expressed herein The Wonder Commission do not necessarily represent those of the H.B., E.W. & F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee. 

Fifth Third Bank

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