What is a House Concert?
A house concert is a (PARTY!) private performance in your living room with 10 - ? of your closest friends present to hear baroque music as it was often performed in the day – in an intimate salon setting! One can choose to have just music, or food and drink, or ask guests to bring food and drink. Often we all chat and get to know each other as people are arriving, play a set, talk and ask questions during a break, and perform a second set. Afterwards chatting, munching and drinking can continue as long as you like. Guests are generally asked to bring a donation of at least $15 or a suggested donation plus a bottle of wine. This money goes directly to the performers to cover our costs of transportation and preparing the music. Reservations are taken ahead so you know exactly how many people to expect in your living room! Generally the address is only given out after reservations are made.
Contact email@example.com if you are interested!
photo by Jennifer Mitchell
What do I need to do to host one?
Hosting a concert is very similar to hosting any other type of party, with a few additional steps.
1. Survey the room you might like to have a concert in. The first question is, how will they get the harpsichord in? Let us know: How many stairs will we need to climb? How wide is the stair way? Are there any 90 degree turns? How wide are doorways? We have a lot of experience moving harpsichords into difficult locations, but sometimes it is inadvisable! If you aren't sure, just snap some pictures and send them to us! We'll know exactly what to bring with photographic preparation. Please keep in mind that we shouldn't place the instruments directly in front of a heating vent, air conditioner, or open fire!
2. How many people will fit in the room? We will take up the space of about a standard couch plus arm chair. Set your audience cap accordingly.
3. Confer with us on a date! Usually our dates are very limited. We must do several concerts in a row in order to cover our costs. We love doing house concerts before more public events so we can share intimate details and secrets about the music that we don't get to share when speaking from a big stage!
4. Decide details. Do you want us to keep track of RSVPs, or you? Based on your friends' personalities, do you want to charge less if they purchase ahead? Do you want us to collect credit card donations on our website? Do you want them to RSVP and just bring cash? Do you want to say you'll have snacks in your promo? Or ask people to bring a bottle of wine? Think ahead about parking, bathrooms, seating, CD sales, and refreshments. Do you want it dressy and glamorous? Or casual potluck? What time do you want people out?
5. Begin an advertising campaign with your friends. (We're happy to send sample wordings, concert descriptions, pictures, youtube links or anything else that you might find useful!) We prepare concerts for months, culminating in several days of performances with harpsichord moves and a lot of travel. If you don't think you can get at least 10 friends to attend for a minimum of $150 at the door, it probably isn't a great idea. While we're happy to list the house concert in our promo as well, generally the people that will be most excited about coming to your house to hear great music will be YOUR friends!
House concerts are often the most fun and educational type of concert because we're not on a time crunch and don't have to shout to the back of a hall. New friendships are formed over deep conversations and a glass of wine discussing amazing music and its implications on today's world. Your friends will probably be asking about the next one before they leave!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!