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.
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 $52,470 in scholarship monies to 61 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 musical performance. 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.
HOW TO APPLY
early November. Please visit this site often for
updated information on the Scholarship Program.
If you have questions they can be directed to
Lee April, Chair, Student Scholarship Program
Click on the links provided to see the current and past scholarship winners.
School Concerts and Master Classes
Coastal Concerts hosts at least two community outreach programs or master classes by our artists each season. During the 2022-23 season, there were two outstanding outreach programs.
Our first Outreach of the 2022-23 season was on Friday, October 21, 2022. Amy Yang visited the Sussex Academy in Georgetown, Delaware and offered a Piano Master Class to three students. The program was coordinated by Mike Marotta, the School’s Music Director. After the Master Class, she presented a piano recital for an enthusiastic audience of approximately 400 middle and high school students.
Students in the Master Class had this to say about their experience:
"I learned so much from my short session with Ms. Yang! In the brief amount of time that we had together, she introduced me to an entirely new way of conceptualizing my piano technique. It was especially amazing just to hear the abstract, creative, almost spiritual ideas that an expert like Ms. Yang applies to her craft”.
"As a composer I hear my music a certain way. Having the opportunity to hear Amy bring my pieces to life was both enlightening and insightful.”
You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium as Amy played and dialogued with the students about her musical career, and why she chose piano as her instrument.
Students who participated in the Master Class along with the artist and Music Director were (from left to right below) Holly Calloway, Amy Yang, Abby Pamplona, Dylan Thomas, Mike Marotta. All three students participating in the Master Class were seniors at the school.
Mike Marotta, Music Director for the Academy, shared having Amy Yang visit our school was one of the highlights of our fall semester. Her genuineness, sincerity, and talent were apparent, and her piano concert was inspiring. Thank you Amy for a wonderful visit, and we hope you will visit us again!” Words just can’t describe how grateful the students were to meet and work with Amy….but pictures can! See just a few pictures taken that day and witness the joy that Coastal Concerts continues to bring to the students of Sussex County through its Outreach Programs.
Our second Outreach of the 2022-23 season was at the Moorings in Lewes, where on Friday, February 17, 2023, the residents of The Moorings were treated to a private performance by the Viano String Quartet in advance of the quartet’s featured Coastal Concerts’ performance, scheduled for the next day, Saturday, February 18. About 75 residents packed the hall, responding enthusiastically to Viano’s superb playing of its well curated program, especially the encore selection, Ashokan Farewell.
In appreciation of this special event and to acknowledge the ongoing pleasure that Coastal Concerts’ programming brings to the Moorings community year after year, many of the residents took up a collection on their own and made a gift to CoCo along with a fervent request for future outreach performances.
The Moorings event was a component of Coastal Concerts’ outreach program, which brings world class classical music to schools, community centers and senior living facilities in the region.
RAVE: Rising Artist and Venue Expansion
In 2019, Coastal Concerts received a Longwood Foundation Grant in the amount of $18,000. The agreed upon goal for this grant was to identify and arrange 3-4 collaborations with underserved communities (African American, Latino, and/or low-income populations), and as a result of these collaborations to offer various opportunities that would include Western classical music and the music and/or arts of those underserved communities’ needs. The main agreed upon key component of the grant between CoCo and Longwood was for outreach activities to involve ongoing collaborative partnerships with these organizations in underserved communities.
CoCo spent a fair amount of time identifying and developing relationships with community leaders and organizations in areas of southern Delaware where residents have limited access to classical music. We developed partnerships, which included the Seaford (Seaford High School) and Indian River (Georgetown Middle School) School Districts, La Esperanza and First State Community Action Agency.
Several concert/outreach events occurred in 2019 and early 2020. Washington DC’s Trio Caliente, highly entertaining and internationally traveled performers of Spanish and Latin American music, performed to a combined audience of 800 students from HOB Brittingham and Milton Elementary Schools, and then a second performance was held that evening at the Georgetown Middle School for local students and their families. The events were free and bilingual (Spanish/English). The outreach in the elementary schools included a special Q&A session for immersion track Spanish students. Other events included participation in a Multi-Cultural Night at Seaford HS, and the Harlem String Quartet concert at the First State Community Action Agency in Georgetown. However, when COVID arrived in 2020, all CoCo events, including outreaches, were suspended.
In August of 2020, CoCo was able to arrange an outdoor concert (with COVID restrictions) for La Esperanza after school students in Georgetown.
Longwood generously permitted us during the pandemic to repurpose a small portion of the monies for general operating expense for supporting CoCo’s survival at that critical time and allowed us to extend the deadline for the remainder of the grant monies through December, 2022.
After the pandemic, CoCo chose to focus the remaining money in the grant for Arts in Education activities for the Seaford School District. Seaford Delaware has a primarily agricultural history although there was a period of relative prosperity from the DuPont nylon plant. This plant closed earlier last decade, and it has been in difficult economic times ever since. On a per capita income basis (per Census), Seaford ranks 61 of 75 cities and towns in Delaware, compared with Georgetown at 57 and Lewes at 12. According to the most recent census, Seaford is 52% white, 33% African American and 12% Hispanic. The high school demographic, however, is more reflective of the burgeoning immigrant population that works primarily in service jobs and at the chicken plants.
Seaford High and Middle School administration and teachers shared that they had a great need for concert and jazz band, theater and choir students to receive focused guidance by professional musicians and theater experts. In the Fall, 2022, planning began for a focused effort on providing this type of assistance to the students at Seaford High School; during the months of November and December 2022, CoCo arranged for local musicians and theater professionals to provide instrument sectionals and theater and choir Arts in Education in-services. A total of 20 in-service sessions at Seaford High School and Middle School were provided including trumpet, trombone, tuba/baritone, flute, percussion, clarinet, saxophone, jazz band, theater and choir in-services. Here are a few photos of the flute and saxophone sectionals:
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 (coastalconcertspresident@LewesAdventure.com).
“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 157 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 email@example.com. Instrument pick-up from your home can also be arranged. Donations of musical instruments through “Toot Your Own Horn” may be tax-deductible.