Founded in the Fall of 2013 by collaborative pianist Diane Katzenberg Braun, the aim of Music Street is to bring high level classical music performances by musicians affiliated with the New England Conservatory to a variety of venues. Since our inception we have given themed Salon concerts, a high school residency, performances at homeless shelters and a rehabilitation hospital. In addition we have established a concert series at the West Tisbury Library on the island of Martha's Vineyard. In its "pianos to shelters" initiative Music Street finds good quality pianos to donate to institutions or people in need.
On a bitterly cold snowy night in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 2014 two singers and one pianist unloaded their mini van of music stands, an electric piano and scores, and entered the basement of the University Lutheran Church, site of a small homeless shelter. That night they performed for a small attentive group of temporary shelter residents. Their music was the songs of Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Leonard Bernstein, ending with what would become their signature song, Without a Song. As the pianist began to play the opening bass octaves for Vaughan Williams' The Vagabond, an elderly man stood up and began conducting tenor Sean Lair with a clear rhythmic beat, and he guided him through to the end of the song. This was the beginning of our journey...