Sing for Hope

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About Us

Today, Sing for Hope’s programs impact thousands annually.

What would our world look like without art?

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We may not think of access to creative expression in the same way we think of access to food and shelter, but the arts are vital to our well-being. They fuel our imaginations, connect us to our communities, and tap into parts of ourselves that nothing else can.

At Sing for Hope, we believe that every human being has unlimited creative capacity, and that we share a collective responsibility to unlock that potential. Sing for Hope’s roster of Volunteer Artists power our programs in under-resourced schools, veterans’ centers, disabled persons’ networks, healthcare facilities, and elder care homes, renewing hope every day through the unique power of arts outreach.

Whatever brought you to the Sing for Hope website, we hope you will return often. As we look to the future of Sing for Hope, we are invigorated by the continued opportunity to uplift lives through the arts, and we are excited for this next chapter in our growth. Thank you for joining us.

With gratitude,
Monica and Camille
Co-Founders, Sing for Hope

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Monica Yunus

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

Monica Yunus is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope. Ms. Yunus has performed with the world's leading opera companies, including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, The Zouk Festival, and in recitals in Spain, Guatemala, and her native Bangladesh. She has been honored with a 21st Century Leaders Award and, in 2013, received a Congressional Citation, was honored as “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1, and was named one of the “Top 50 Americans in Philanthropy” by Town & Country. A leading voice in the “artist as citizen” discussion, she has performed and spoken at the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Skoll World Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, and the United Nations. The daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Ms. Yunus is a graduate of The Juilliard School.


Camille Zamora

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

Camille Zamora is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope. An internationally acclaimed soprano, she has appeared with collaborators ranging from Plácido Domingo to Sting, with ensembles including London Symphony and Glimmerglass Opera, and in live broadcasts on NPR, BBC Radio, Deutsche Radio and Sirius. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she has been recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and named one of CNN’s Most Intriguing People, NY1’s “New Yorker of the Week” and one of the “Top 50 Americans in Philanthropy” by Town & Country. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post and a leading voice in the “artist as citizen” discussion, Camille has performed and spoken at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Skoll World Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, and the United Nations.


Meet the team:

Richard Robertson

Chief Operating Officer

Richard Robertson has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia and an MBA in Arts Administration from Binghamton University. JHe began his nonprofit career in San Diego, working with San Diego Opera, San Diego Repertory Theatre and the Theatre in Old Town San Diego. Next stop: New York, where he spent 15 years with Eliran Murphy Group, an advertising agency specializing in arts and culture. He eventually became the company's COO and led campaigns for Lincoln Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Big Apple Circus, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New York City Opera, The Apollo Theatre, American Museum of Natural History and numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Richard was instrumental in bringing a significant portion of New York's nonprofit arts organizations online (many kicking and screaming) and frequently spoke at national conferences on Internet marketing, social media and cultural tourism. Richard ran the NYC Marathon in November and is an overbearing helicopter parent to an 8-year old black lab mix named Shirley Temple Black.

Stephanie Martinez

Director of Youth Arts

Stephanie has been a part of the Sing for Hope family since 2009.  With over 10 years of youth development experience focused on arts outreach, she has worked with young people and families in South Florida, New York and South Africa, using the arts as a tool for empowerment. Stephanie first realized her love of music while playing Mozart's little sister, Nannerl, in her third grade play. Her love of sunshine and singing led her to the University of Miami, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She is currently completing her Masters in Music Education at Hunter College.

Paula Nemerson

Director of Community Arts

A passionate arts administrator, Paula comes to Sing for Hope with a strong background in non-profit program management. Most recently, as Director of Education at the Harmony Program, Paula oversaw staff professional development, program evaluation, and day-to-day operations at after-school music programs in New York City and Long Island. Paula earned her Master’s degree in Music Education at George Mason University and is currently studying Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Baruch College. Paula also teaches piano lessons, sings with the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, and lives with her dog and two cats in Brooklyn.

Noah Branman

Director of Program Initiatives

Noah has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit field in a wide range of roles. He has previously worked with The Posse Foundation, Citi Bike, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Camp Kesem, Hillel at Stanford University, and City Year. Noah holds a Master of Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Brandeis University. Noah is an avid theatregoer and believes in the tremendous power of the arts to heal, teach, and build stronger, more connected communities.

Maja Gray

Development & Operations Manager

Maja Gray has over a decade of experience in non-profit and advocacy organizations, including stints in the worlds of environmental consulting, political campaigning, and community development in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, and now New York. Maja earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Smith College (magna cum laude) and a Master of Theological Studies and Certificate of Women's Studies in Religion from the Pacific School of Religion. Maja is also an active professional singer with churches and choirs throughout the NY metro area. Even after three years living in NYC, Maja is happiest out in the wilderness; after a 100-mile hike across the Highlands of Scotland last summer, she's busily planning her next adventure.

Michelle Femminella

Manager of Volunteer Service

Michelle comes to Sing for Hope with a strong background in performing and the arts. A native of New York, she holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts, where she studied vocal performance. Prior to joining the Sing for Hope team, Michelle worked as an instructor of music and dance, working with students age 3-12. Before assuming her current role at Sing for Hope, Michelle was the intern for the 2013 Pianos project, where she assisted in placing those beautiful pianos all over New York City. Since then, she has transitioned into the Manager of Volunteer Service where she very happily works with all the wonderful volunteers on our roster. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats where she can be found watching documentaries, listening to records, or crocheting.

Lester Vrtiak

Program Associate and Pianos Project Leader

Lester Vrtiak is Sing for Hope's Program Associate and Pianos Project Leader. He has several years of experience as an arts administrator specializing in music education and community engagement programming. He is a graduate of the John J. Cali School of Music, part of Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, NJ with a major in Music Theory/Composition and a minor in French. His primary teachers include composition studies with Scott Richards, Fred Cohen and Robert Aldridge and piano study with David Witten. Lester is also an active pianist and violinist, and has performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Players, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble and Vari Musicisti.

Ali Printz

Studio Manager, Pianos 2016

Ali Printz has been working as a historical painter, curator, and writer in NYC for the last 6 years and has show her work both nationally and internationally. She has been involved in public arts projects such as the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in 2014 and the upcoming CitySeats Yankee Project in 2016, as both an artist and a facilitator. She completed an MA in Contemporary Art from Sotheby's Institute of Art/University of Manchester in 2012 and holds both a BA and BFA in Art History and Painting from West Virginia University.

Iesha Burgess

Assistant Studio Manager

Iesha Burgess has been with the organization since 2013, beginning as a Studio Intern and Resident Piano Intern before the entering the role she holds today. Iesha is a 2015 graduate of Hunter College with a Bachelors of Art in Art History and has always been drawn to the world of the arts, seeking out different projects and opportunities of the New York City area.

  • “What Sing for Hope does is wonderfully simple. It maintains a roster of compassionate professional artists who donate time and talent to the humanitarian causes that inspire them.”

    — Dr. Muhammad Yunus,
    2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
    and Sing for Hope Board Member