February 12, 2024

CIM students, faculty cook up fifth annual Music for Food Benefit with members of The Cleveland Orchestra

A group of CIM faculty and students in Mixon Hall.
The 2024 edition of Music for Food in Cleveland will again be a collaboration between members of The Cleveland Orchestra and CIM’s faculty and students. (Photo by Robert Muller)

Music does more than feed the soul. At times, it also nourishes the body. 

Case in point: CIM’s upcoming Music for Food Benefit Concert, at 7:30pm Monday, March 4.  

Organized to benefit University Settlement, a nonprofit serving Cleveland’s Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood, the fifth annual concert and silent auction will fill bellies even as it fills Mixon Hall with sound.    

“As musicians, we aspire to help people and make the world a better place,” said Sharon Robinson, a member of CIM’s cello faculty and director of the Cleveland Chapter of Music for Food, which is presenting the concert in partnership with CIM’s Student Government Association. “With Music for Food, we accomplish both of those goals in a direct, tangible way.”  

Robinson is right about that. As of February 2023, the Cleveland chapter of the national Music for Food movement had raised $119,000 for hungry families in Northeast Ohio, through the Cleveland Kosher Food Pantry and Greater Cleveland Food Bank.  

This year’s beneficiary – University Settlement – is different, but the goal of combating hunger remains the same. Two of the Settlement’s most vital programs are a community meal service and Mobile Food Pantry. This year’s fundraising target is $25,000.  

A silent auction that evening will feature gifts from local businesses and artwork by students at the Cleveland Institute of Art. 

“Going into a concert knowing that you’re helping your community is always so rewarding,” said Yasmin Gerardi (BM3, Kuznetsova Toliver), vice president of CIM’s Student Government Association. “It’s why we’re musicians in the first place.”  

As always, the 2024 Music for Food Benefit Concert will be a collaboration between members of The Cleveland Orchestra and CIM’s faculty and students.  

The program includes the Cleveland premiere of a work by Shawn Okpebholo, a composer and conductor at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and a recent work for solo harp by Reena Esmail, penned for CIM’s harp department head, Yolanda Kondonassis (BM ’86, MM ’89, Chalifoux).  

About the latter, Kondonassis said the piece “explores sonic spaces and special effects in a creative yet grounded context, expressing a wide spectrum of emotion, from man-made conflict to sublime reflection.”  

Full program details are below.  

The 2024 Music for Food concert is free, but reservations are required. Reserve a ticket at cim.edu/events

To donate, visit universitysettlement.net/donate. All donations will benefit the University Settlement. 



Monday, March 4

7:30pm | Mixon Hall 

Music for Food Benefit Concert 

Presented by the CIM Student Government Association in collaboration with Music for Food. 

Kiana Lilly, soprano, student artist 

Trey Floyd, tenor (PS ’24, Billions) 

Jessica Sindell, flute 

Frank Rosenwein, oboe (BM ’00, Mack) 

Afendi Yusuf, clarinet 

Brittney Delpey, bassoon, student artist 

Richard King, horn 

Karisa Chiu, violin, student artist 

Jaime Laredo, violin 

Lola Pinney, viola, student artist 

Sharon Robinson, cello 

Kathryn Brown, piano (AD ’93, Schenly) 

François Germain, piano 

Yolanda Kondonassis, harp (BM '86, MM '89, Chalifoux) 

VERDI   Tower Scene Duet from Il Trovatore 

ESMAIL   Inconvenient Wounds (2021) 

OKPEBHOLO   Rise (2023) 

   Cleveland premiere; co-commissioned by the CIM Black Student Union 

R. SCHUMANN   Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44