by Rebecca Shasberger
Special to ClevelandClassical.com
While November has only recently arrived, many people find themselves already planning for Thanksgiving. For some in our community, however, such planning isn’t as simple as deciding who will cook the turkey and who will bake the pies. Tens of thousands of people in Northeast Ohio will instead be wondering if they’ll have food at all for Thanksgiving, an uncertainty many of them face throughout the year.
Some of Cleveland’s brightest musical lights have decided to do something about this problem. On Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 pm, well-known performers including cellists Sharon Robinson and Keith Robinson, violinist Jinjoo Cho, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, guitarist Jason Vieaux, and trumpeter Michael Sachs will present a benefit concert for food relief at the Maltz Museum of Jewish History.
“I am so grateful for the full life I have, and wanted to draw attention to the hunger that surrounds us in Cleveland,” Sharon Robinson said in a recent conversation. Four years ago Robinson founded the Cleveland chapter of Music For Food, a Boston-based nonprofit that presents concerts around the country to raise awareness about food insecurity and generate funds to combat hunger. Robinson started the local chapter at the encouragement of Kim Kashkashian, her longtime friend and founder of Music For Food. Since its inception the Cleveland chapter has raised thousands of dollars for the food-challenged in our community.
All of the musicians who perform in Music For Food concerts donate their time and talents to the cause, so every dollar raised through ticket sales and donations goes to assist the hungry. Proceeds from the November 19 concert will go to a local organization.
“I had been searching for a wonderful partner to help allocate and distribute the funds we are raising through our concerts, and came upon the Cleveland Kosher Food Pantry,” Robinson said. “They are a terrifically run organization that shares food with people of all faiths, in every neighborhood. Much of their food is delivered directly to hungry families, and our last concert actually helped the Kosher Food Pantry buy a nifty delivery truck, which helps get the food donations to the homes of families in need. I love the energy and total dedication displayed by all the folks volunteering at the Pantry!”
Joining Robinson and her colleagues for this performance is Locacelli, a variable-size, all-cello ensemble, many of whom are students of Robinson or members of her Advanced Piano Trio Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. For their November 19 debut performance, they will be joined by Robinson in Fauré’s Elegy, arranged for eight cellos.
Those in attendance at the upcoming Maltz Museum performance will be treated to a program celebrating music from France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and America. For complete program details, and to reserve a seat or make a donation, click here.
Robinson’s dedication to helping the hungry was ever evident in our conversation. “One of the joys of my life is to serve humanity with my music. I am really looking forward to this eclectic and sparkling line-up of artists for a concert to be remembered!”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com November 6, 2017.
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