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Community Outreach 


Coastal Concerts is committed to its mission of transforming peoples' lives through the sharing of classical music, and in addition to presenting 6-7 world class artists in concert each season, engages in many activities in the community. These include the awarding of scholarships to promising young musicians, bringing our performers into local schools and community agencies to offer master classes and perform, collecting gently used instruments from local residents to give to students who can't afford to purchase an instrument, offering after school music education program for students, and providing performance opportunities in different venues for rising artists. Each of these activities is described below in detail.


Scholarship Program

As part of Coastal Concerts’ Outreach Program, and with support from many of our patrons, Coastal Concerts is proud to sponsor an annual Scholarship Competition for musically talented secondary and middle school students. This program is designed to help students continue their music education, and since the program’s inception in 2002, we have awarded over $52,200 in scholarship monies to 62 deserving students. Scholarships are available to all middle school and high school students in the Delmarva Peninsula.


Students compete only against those in their own age group and the scholarships awarded are based upon written essay and an in-person audition. The Scholarship Awards can be used for music camps, university courses, instrument purchase/repair, or music lessons. The scholarship application period runs from November 15th to February 15th each year.  Scholarship decisions are made in February and the awards are given at the last concert of the season in April.




Application materials can be found on this site in early November. Please visit this site often for 

updated information on the Scholarship Program. If you have questions they can be directed to 

Carol Dennis, Executive Director at

Click on the links provided to see the current and past scholarship winners.

​School Concerts and Master Classes

Coastal Concerts helps instill the love of music for our community’s youth through master classes, in school performances, scholarships, arranging performance opportunities for our scholarship winners, after-school music enrichment, providing diverse populations with limited or no access to classical music and free admission to our concerts for students 18 and younger.  

OUTREACH:  Piano Master Class | Michelle Cann


Coastal Concerts hosts at least two community outreach programs or master classes by our artists each season.   During the 2023-24 season, there were three outstanding outreach programs. Our first Outreach was a Master Piano class at Cape Henlopen High School presented by Michelle Cann. Lauded as “exquisite” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and “a pianist of sterling artistry” by Gramophone, Michelle Cann has become one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation. This Outreach was held in collaboration with Cape Henlopen High School with three talented music students from the school.  It was a game changer for Christopher Runde, Nathan Hoang and Ruby Manos, during and after they performed for Michelle Cann at the Piano Master Class on October 6th.  Ms. Cann was our featured performer for our concert on October 7th and provided this educational opportunity for these piano students as part of our Outreach Program.  This master class learning experience was observed by a mesmerized audience of 120 Cape music students.


Read what these students had to say after the master class:


Ruby Manos – ”I am very thankful that I was able to participate in this special

opportunity. Throughout the masterclass I learned lots of information about dynamics.

This includes making the music quieter and louder to add emotion and bring the listener

on a journey. I learned to do this by arching my wrist upwards for a softer sound and

flattening my hand for a fuller sound”.


Nathaniel Hoang – “Ms. Cann was immensely helpful in playing the piece more

masterfully. I learned to create a much more dramatic effect and dynamic performance

thanks to her suggestions from small subtle changes in pedaling to utilizing my entire

body from my back through my arms.  I will keep her tips in mind to try to fully express

any piece I play.  It was a wonderful opportunity for me and for the other students to be able to experience such a high level of music here in our area”.


Christopher Runde – “Absolutely astounding, game changing performance tips. I enjoyed learning what was unique with my piece, and being able to express the music with such passion really changed my performance. It has already shown impact in how I play other types of piano pieces, and I now think with more expression to keep the

audience engaged”.


Marian Sunnergren (Cape Music Teacher) – “Thank YOU Coastal Concerts so much for providing this opportunity for my students. Cape is so lucky to have this connection and support for our music program at Cape. Michelle provided valuable instruction for each student at the piano and introduced them to concepts on their ability level, while including the audience of music students in the learning experience. She is clearly a gifted music educator who is used to wearing many hats. Even more impressive than her teaching was her performance. My students were blown away by Michelle’s playing; I watched jaws drop in the audience the moment she demonstrated at the piano, and they were in awe of her closing performance with the improvisation on Rachmaninoff’s prelude in C# minor. Her choice of repertoire was engaging and appropriate for my students, and really gave them a great sample of how ‘fun’ classical music can be”.




OUTREACH: Recital |JIJI and Danbi Um


On November 10, 2023, we held our second Outreach of the season, a recital performed by JiJi and Danbi Um, a guitar and violin duo. The Moorings is a senior living community located in Lewes, offering a range of housing options and amenities for residents.  The community is known for its beautiful location and provides a comfortable and engaging environment for seniors. Coastal Concerts’ visiting artists enjoy performing at the Moorings as part of the Outreach initiative, and appreciate the warm and inviting atmosphere of the community.  The recital was quite well attended, and  JiJi’s classical guitar rendition of the all-time favorite “Over the Rainbow” seemed to resonate with the residents as many were seen quietly singing along to the music. 


CoCo is incredibly grateful for the support of Moorings residents, and proud to have such caring and appreciative individuals as part of our community.  Later in the Season, Coastal concerts was presented a donation check from the Moorings residents as a thank you for presenting the recital.

Accepting Donation Check from The Moorings from left to right:  Monica Han, James Hockenberry and Richard Scalenghe


OUTREACH:  Concert | American String Quartet

Our final outreach of the 2023-24  season was a concert held on January 12, 2024.  The students at Beacon Middle School (BMS) were treated to a special performance by the American String Quartet on Friday, January 12, 2024. Yells and laughter echoed loudly as over 200 sixth grade students began filing into the school’s gymnasium.

After a brief lesson on concert audience etiquette by the band director and teachers, the students were awed into silence as the Quartet began to play several works from their formal concert program scheduled for the following day on Coastal Concerts stage.

The music was received enthusiastically, as evidenced by the thrilled cheers and clapping of the sixth graders. After their performance, members of the Quartet responded to questions and posed for pictures with a group of band and choir students.

Mr. Robert Barbarita, band director for BMS, stated, “Beacon Middle School was proud to have the American String Quartet perform for our students at Beacon Middle School. The performance was thoughtfully organized, professional and engaging to students and staff! I’d like to thank Coastal Concerts for providing this amazing opportunity for our students!”

This event was a part of Coastal Concerts’ Outreach program, which seeks to make world class music accessible to the local community via master classes, music programming, and student scholarships. The engagement and community Outreach of the American String Quartet is made possible through the Special Presenters Initiative program of the Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts.


After School Music Education Program

Coastal Concerts has had a collaborative relationship with First State Community Action Agency for years.  “First State” is a non-profit organization that fights poverty by empowering the poor. Formed in 1965 in Georgetown as the Sussex County Community Action Agency by a group of concerned citizens, they have grown to encompass the entire State, offering a diverse array of programs that target the root causes of poverty.  Coastal Concerts have brought several of our featured artists to perform at First State inviting Georgetown residents to experience beautiful music.  


More recently, First State leaders shared that their After-School students have a need to be “exposed” to music in 6 Sussex County programs.  We learned that many of these students have never heard live or been close to instruments such as clarinets, trumpets and guitars.  Many students also have limited knowledge of various musical styles.  Coastal Concerts has been engaging voluntary local musicians to provide sessions for these students.  


The sessions are not instrument lessons, per se; the students get a chance to hear an instrument played live, learn about the instrument’s history, physical construction, watch videos of performers who look like themselves playing these instruments as well as learn some fun facts.  For instance, one session included listening and learning about the difference between a classical and acoustic guitar, being able to strum the guitars, “vote” on which sounded “best” and watch videos of African American and Latino classical, jazz and folk guitarists.   


We’re inviting local musicians to join in this exciting program to influence and inspire these deserving and enthusiastic students.  Please let us know if you would like more information about this outreach activity.  


Contact Board President Richard Scalenghe for more information (

“Toot Your Own Horn” Instrument Donations

Coastal Concerts continues to provide aspiring young musicians access to quality musical instruments and equipment through our “Toot Your Own Horn” Program which, since 2004, has provided approximately 170 gently used, but playable, musical instruments to students in southern Delaware.  Through the generosity of local residents, who donate usable musical instruments that they no longer play, Coastal Concerts is able to sustain this wonderful program. Instruments are distributed to students through the school music education programs in the area, including the Cape Henlopen School District and the Seaford School District. 


If you have an instrument or instruments you would like to donate,  please contact Denise Emery, Chair, of the “Toot Your Own Horn”  Program at  Instrument pick-up from your home can also be arranged.  Donations of musical instruments through “Toot Your Own Horn” may be tax-deductible.

Scholarship Program
School Concert and Master Classes
Instrument Donations
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