Jennifer Heemstra, professional pianist and entrepreneur, received the College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University and was the commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2017. In December 2014, she founded the Kolkata Classics trust which provides free health services for trafficked women, educates children from the slums to the elite and exposes the citizens of Kolkata, India to high quality classical music. She has put on 70 concerts and performed for and worked with over 65,000 adults/children in South Asia. For her work, she was presented with the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad from John Kerry.
In 2017, Heemstra founded the Pitch Pipe Foundation, a US-based NGO which links great artists to great need. This past August she organized and headlined “On the Road – a patriotic salute to our Veterans.” Last month Heemstra organized over 50 concerts to support National Salute to Veteran Patients Week at Veterans Affairs medical facilities nationwide.
During her seven years in Cleveland, Ms. Heemstra worked as a Lecturer and Staff Accompanist for over 350 performances in the music department at Case Western Reserve University, performed with the Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera, and frequently concertized with members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Heemstra earned her Master of Music from The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music with honors from Michigan State University. In addition she is a Rotarian and member of the MTNA and College Music Society.