Concerts in Motion

Annual Appeal Letter

November 12, 2018

Dear Friends:

This holiday letter is one I write with such a feeling of joy and gratitude. Your support of Concerts in Motion over the years has allowed us to reach thousands of isolated New York City residents with the music they love.

Concerts in Motion brings so much joy to the community because our mission is a win-win for everyone involved. Our students and professional musicians often tell us that playing in the outreach is so meaningful it reminds them why they decided to play music. Likewise, our recipients tell us how deeply grateful they are that we took the time to visit and bring them "their" music.

We had many new initiatives this year including reaching palliative care floors at Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as deepening our work with underserved middle school students who participated in intergenerational concerts for their own communities.

Music is a powerful tool that can transform lives. We feel so fortunate for your support every year in order to fulfill this important mission in our community.

We will present 1,500 concerts in 2019 reaching an expected 25,000 isolated New York City residents. Some days we are presenting many concerts at the same hour in multiple boroughs. You can see our calendar of concerts in real time from our website I am also including with this letter a summary of what we accomplished this past year and some charts that will give you a sense of our trajectory.

Once again thank you for considering giving to Concerts in Motion generously this year.

Just by giving, you will make a difference that will transform someone's life.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

Most sincerely,

Jennifer Finn
Jennifer Finn
Founder and Executive Director

Concerts in Motion - Summary of Activities and Impact, 2018

"These miracle moments happen often when Concerts in Motion arrives."
"Your musicians had the pulse of our audience."
"You are the best performers ever!"

Concerts in Motion has had another successful year providing over a thousand personal concert visits to groups and individuals throughout the city. As these comments from agency partners and concert recipients attest, we have maintained our commitment to first-rate musicianship and exceptional service. Many of our concerts reach the city’s most isolated individuals: Music for the Homebound, in many ways our organization’s signature program, represents 36% of our overall program activity, and the private pay Music at Home Subscriber series represents another 7%. The subscriber series is a wonderful way to bring private, in-home concerts to the same individual on a regular basis. Our Youth Program represents 31% of our program activity, and performing for homebound individuals is the most common way for youth to participate, so with this program we are reaching the most isolated older adults while benefitting youth at the same time.

We continue to reach Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) along with other private and group residences, hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, assisted living facilities, and food pantries. As always, our dedicated musicians are able to tailor the concerts so that they are bringing the individuals’ most beloved music. We routinely provide traditional Chinese music, Latin music, klezmer or other Jewish music, and of course classical, rock, Jazz, Motown, Broadway standards, bluegrass, and folk. We are grateful to be able to reach the city’s many communities with the music they love most, performed by musicians with whom they feel a strong connection. 

Over the past year, Concerts in Motion has had a strong, positive impact in six key areas:

Reaching previously unresponsive individuals. After one recipient of a private home concert sang a few words and said "bravo," her husband was nearly moved to tears and explained to our musicians that his wife seldom speaks and is almost completely disengaged from her surroundings, so to see her interacting with our performance the way she did was extraordinary and powerful for him. Family members of other recipients gave similar reports, and one of our hospital partners told us that a particular patient usually does not speak, but "within half an hour of the beginning of the concert, she was up and dancing and singing. Tears all around for staff."

Offering interactive concerts for people with disabilities. We continued to refine our interactive concerts for people with a range of disabilities and mental illness. We routinely sought feedback from our agency partners and worked to identify the musicians from our roster who are most skillful at reaching the interactive concerts’ audiences. This year our interactive concerts reached groups at Gracie Square Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy Tanya Towers, Selfhelp Virtual Senior Center, the Manhattan, Brooklyn, St. Albans, and Bronx VA hospitals, and Catholic Charities supportive housing residences in Staten Island.

Providing valuable service opportunities for youth. Our caring young performers continued to make a difference this year. Through our youth program we were able to reach six homebound individuals weekly with concerts of up to four youth performers, and we completed the second year of our pilot project that links youth from public middle schools or after school programs with older adults at local settlement houses. Our goal is to make our youth program accessible to interested, caring young musicians whether or not they have the resources to take formal music lessons. Youth who stay with us through their high school years are able to take part in the High School Leaders program, which gives these older students an opportunity to guide and support middle school students in addition to performing themselves. Performing with Concerts in Motion makes it possible for young people to view music as an opportunity to reach and connect with others, rather than as a personal competition. We have seen youth undergo tremendous, even transformative, growth during their time with us.

Fostering intergenerational collaboration. Concerts in Motion’s Intergenerational Variety Shows bring youth and older musicians together to perform joint concerts for the benefit of all. These sometimes include original compositions and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the performers. The shows are always lively and festive and the younger and older participants love the opportunity to appreciate and learn from each other.

Providing meaningful opportunities for the professional musicians who perform with Concerts in Motion. The professional musicians who perform with us continue to let us know how much they get out of the experience. As one said recently, "What a lovely experience – to play for a crowd that was in rapt attention for every second!"

Partnering with service agencies. We continue to partner with 53 agencies throughout the city that share our goal of improving the lives of isolated New Yorkers, and this year we have devoted renewed effort to learning the needs of our partners and determining how we can best serve them. We regularly received feedback saying that our concerts not only met but often exceeded agencies’ expectations. One recent comment from an agency partner said, "Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! These guys were great and a perfect match for the audience. They engaged both the residents and the staff and we'd love to have them back again."

What we've done and how many have benefitted over last 5 years