In Saturday’s (12/19) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports on a concert for homeless men that took place on December 17 at the Trinity Lutheran Church shelter in New York City. “They listened to the latest performance by Kelly Hall-Tompkins, a violinist who has been playing in shelters for five years under the banner of Music Kitchen. Ms. Hall-Tompkins is not the only do-gooder in the classical music world. Orchestras nationwide took part in a food drive this fall, and Classical Action raises money for AIDS programs through concerts and other activities. Hospital Audiences brings musicians and other performers into wards.” Hall-Tompkins, who plays in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, explains in the article that she often invites musician colleagues to play, including Albrecht Mayer, principal oboist of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra; pianist Emanuel Ax; and, for the December 17 concert, the fiddler and composer Mark O’Connor. “One man, who identified himself by his nickname, Cleveland, said music helped him relax. He had a tattoo of a G clef and several notes on his neck.” He explained in the article, “I look at music as something to get my mind focused off of the other things I’m going through.”

Posted December 21, 2009

For information about the 2010 Orchestras Feeding America food drive, click ere .