Street pianos New York at SingforHope.org is an unusual and fascinating project by Sing for Hope, which organization was founded in 2006 by sopranos Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus. They believe in the volunteering of artists to give back to their communities and bring the arts to under-resourced schools, organizations and health care facilities.
Sing for Hope has a Volunteer Artist Roster of over 1,000 professional singers, dancers, painters, puppeteers, pianists, circus performers, musicians, choreographers, costume designers and many others who reach millions of appreciative audience members.
For the third year, Sing for Hope Pianos brought impromptu concerts played in 88 spots in all five boroughs of New York City. These were performed by professionals and by anyone who wanted to sit down and play.
Imagine being among about 300 people congregating in front of Tully Hall in New York to listen to a seven-year-old playing Mozart, a seasoned pianist playing Broadway tunes, a banker crooning Sinatra songs and an opera singer singing Carmen. This is just an example of the enjoyment that was brought to the city.
The pianos were old uprights and well-worn grands placed in parks, plazas, squares and other locations with each being decorated and painted by an artist. A team made sure to cover the pianos when it rained and checked to make sure the pianos stayed pretty much in tune. After a final day of outdoor concerts at Josie Robertson Plaza in Lincoln Center, they were donated to hospitals, schools and community centers.