Music for Food Concert to benefit the Hoosier Hills Food Bank

The Hoosier Hills Food Bank and food-insecure residents of the Bloomington area will benefit from a concert later this month. Music for Food, a large organization run by musicians, has local chapters that help the hungry.

Pianist Sung-Mi Im, professor of chamber music at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, is the artistic director of the group Bloomington. She said her colleagues, one of whom is cellist and former Jacobs teacher Sharon Robinson, inspired her to start the new group here.

For the Bloomington Chapter’s first concert, Im gathered musicians to perform at 2 p.m. on February 27 at the First United Methodist Church. All participants give of their time. In addition to performers, Im recruited some of his students for work such as recording and photography.

Following:WWII hero at center of Bloomington composer Lauren Bernofsky’s developing opera

Music for Food believes in the ability of music to connect audiences to artists and to motivate people to help others. By giving concerts, in fact, they transform the performance into food.

“I’m starting to build a group of volunteers,” Im said. And she hopes that by hosting the concert in an off-campus venue, she can reach a wider audience, attracting new cohorts of attendees.

“There is no dictator here,” she said with a smile. Three pieces are on the program, and Im, with the other musicians, has chosen them.

The afternoon will begin with the Piano Trio in D Minor by Felix Mendelssohn, featuring 15-year-old Bloomington High School North cellist Serge Kalinovsky, son of Jacobs violinist and concert attendee Grigory Kalinovsky. This will be the first time the son-dad pair will perform together for the public. Next will come Jacob’s fearsome Marietta Simpson who will sing three songs by American composer H. Leslie Adams. The final piece is Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat major, in which Im will perform with Pacifica String Quartet.

Future Bloomington Chapter concerts are forthcoming. “I’m excited to see how it takes off from here,” she said.

Im taught at Jacobs for 10 years and gave solo and chamber music recitals in London, Montreal, Dallas, Seoul and New York.

She has been involved in the Bloomington music community since 1999, when she and her late husband, violinist Ik-Hwan Bae, moved here from New York. She and Bae premiered Jacobs composer PQ Phan’s “Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano with Chamber Orchestra” with Jacobs’ New Music Ensemble. She has also worked with IU’s ballet department, notably Stravinsky’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra.

Along with teaching, playing the piano, playing sports – “my therapy” – and now directing Bloomington’s Music for Food, she is an avid lover of dogs and tropical fish. “My big minnow (not a real shark) is 20 years old.”

Pianist Sung-Mi Im uses tongs to feed her fish.  Im organized a chapter of Bloomington Music for Food to do fundraising performances for groups such as the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

Julio Alonso, Executive Director and CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank, expressed surprise and delight at being selected for Im’s project.

“We are very happy to be able to link our efforts with IU’s amazing school of music,” he said over the phone.

Always looking for new ways to support the food bank, Hoosier Hills assists six local counties, including Monroe, and supports nearly 100 other agencies. While the agency saw a surge in donations and grants at the height of the pandemic in 2020, when the need for food also increased, it dwindled.

From December:Hoosier Hills Food Bank Efforts Help Address Food Insecurity in 6 Indiana Counties

Hoosier Hills distributed 7 million pounds of food in 2020. The pandemic, Alonso said, has had a massive impact on food donations, as many restaurants and wholesalers who normally send their surpluses to the food bank have scaled back operations or closed and many recurring food races have been postponed or canceled. Bloomington’s Music for Food came at a good time, he said.

Find Bloomington Music for Food at Find the Hoosier Hills Food Bank at

If you are going to

WHAT: Bloomington’s first Music for Food concert, benefiting the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

WHEN: 2-3:30 p.m. on February 27.

OR: First United Methodist Church, 219 E. Fourth St.

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: $30, adults; $10, students.

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