This is a description of house concerts from my own experiences as performer, concert host/presenter and audience member. With experience in all three roles, I can honestly tell you – house concerts are a fantastic & fun way to hear live music !
The basic concept: Someone loves an artist’s music. That someone (the host) asks that artist (usually professional, traveling musicians) to play a concert in their living room for their friends, family, and/or community members, and sends out invitations. Everyone who attends pitches in (donates) to pay the artist. The event often includes the sharing of food and drink.
What’s great about it: It’s an intimate listening atmosphere – which allows the real magic of music to unfold. There are stories, laughter, and truly transcendent musical moments. You get to gather with your friends and/or meet new people while joining in a unique experience. Often the sharing of yummy food and drinks is a part of the evening, too. And you get to meet the musician(s), and really talk to them! It’s comfortable and relaxing. I have left so many house concerts with a warm glow, expanded heart, and the feeling I’ve discovered a secret treasure.
About the donation: When you add your donation to the kitty at a house concert, you are paying an accomplished, professional musician directly for the evening’s entertainment. In contrast, commercial venues usually require larger audiences or expensive tickets to pay artists, which often excludes lesser-known talents from even getting a chance to perform. Fortunately, a house concert can pay an artist respectably via a room full of just 20 or 30 music lovers. It’s a less expensive higher-quality evening out for attendees, and the artist gets paid a living wage. Everybody wins! (Note: I never want real financial difficulties to prevent someone from attending my concerts. No one will be turned away for inability to pay what is suggested.)
What you can expect at an Esther Golton house concert: I offer you an evening of artful songs, dulcimer and flute in interesting musical styles, with stories that tie the songs together delightfully. I’ll also share a small photo album from my life in Alaska, which you can pass around while listening. In the fall and winter of 2013-14, I’ll be highlighting my new album Stay Warm, which might just warm your toes for a whole season to come. 🙂 Feel free to listen to samples of my music here and read my bio here.
Resources for Hosts: I love how my friend Danny Schmidt explains the hosting of house concerts. I think his article below is a good, non-intimidating description which should encourage you to host someone like me, or other musicians you like. I’ve hosted quite a few house concerts myself, so feel free to email me with questions.
Here’s the link to Danny’s article on hosting house concerts.
Here’s a link to some example house concert invitations.
Here’s a link to Concerts In Your Home – which has a lot more info if you really want to delve in.
If you’ve never been to a house concert before, I urge you to try it out. If you can’t make it to one of mine, please keep your eye out for another opportunity. It’s a very special experience…
Thanks, and I truly look forward to singing and playing for you!