Laura Hiner Music

HOUSE CONCERTS

WHY ARE HOUSE CONCERTS SO GREAT?

House Concerts are fun, and they take a common social gathering to a whole new level. Since most people have never been to a private concert in someone's home, your guests feel they are part of something special. The concert provides a unique focus to the evening with plenty of time to socialize. The intimacy and warmth of the experience enchant most people who attend. Many hosts find that House Concerts are a tangible way in which they can support the arts in their community. Your guests don't have to dress formally or make large contributions. They simply get to enjoy this form of art in the gracious setting of your home. The growing popularity of House Concerts has given independent artists opportunities to build an audience. By hosting a House Concert and sharing this unique opportunity with those in your intimate circle, you are making a significant contribution to an artist's career. Festivals and larger venues are great but only give you a "taste" of the musician's artistry. House Concerts are up close and personal and the difference between a House Concert and a short performance in a larger environment can be like night and day.

WHAT'S A HOUSE CONCERT?

In the days of chamber music, 200 or 300 years ago, people would gather in their drawing rooms to listen to live musicians. It was a way to get together with friends and, at the same time, to be introduced to artists and their work. It was a time when involvement in the arts was a part of everyday life. This was before electricity; no one had the luxury of listening to CDs, stereos, or TV. Live musicians were all that was available and having one close up, in person, was not an every day event.

Today, most of us are accustomed to concerts where the performer is inaccessible, so the experience of a private concert in an intimate setting provides a refreshing contrast. House concerts are unique events. The audience is close enough to see the details of the artist's performance -- the nuances of a facial expression -- or hear the artist's fingers attack the strings before they hear the sound of the notes. Not only can the guests see the performance better, they also have the opportunity to meet and chat with the performer.

HOW DO I DO A HOUSE CONCERT?

Contact me by email or phone.

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO DO A HOUSE CONCERT?

No. Often at no personal cost, the House Concert host introduces friends, family, neighbors, and business associates to the music of an accomplished artist. The host has the privilege to hand-pick the guests for this unique socail gathering. The performer's fee is often based on the number of people in attendance. Typical attendance at a House Concert is 10-60 or more people. You invite whom YOU want. Tickets usually range from $5 - $15, (or up to $60) and each invited guest pays for a ticket. An alternative choice can be to have a small jar or vase discreetly placed as a receptacle for "Contributions" to the Artist; your guests can donate to the Artist's expenses and performance as a tangible way of thanking her.

HOW CAN I CHARGE PEOPLE TO COME INTO MY HOME?

If you are concerned about asking people to pay, let them know that all proceeds from ticket sales go to the artist. This is a way for you and your guests to directly support a performer, and to have a memorable and unique evening at a reasonable price. By hosting a private concert at your home, you are simply providing a venue for the performance. For a special occasion or celebration in your life, you might want to invite your guests and pay for the entertainment yourself.

IS MY HOUSE BIG ENOUGH?

Most people are surprised at how many people can be seated comfortably in a living room. Using concert-style row seating, with kitchen or dining room chairs and some furniture rearranging, you might be surprised at how many can be comfortably seated in your living room. Often you can borrow stacking chairs from a church or school, use patio chairs, or ask friends and neighbors to bring a chair or two. If your home is absolutely too small, consider hosting the concert jointly with a friend who has a larger home, or even at a local coffee bar, in your condominium or apartment complex clubhouse or in the boardroom at your office. In warm weather, you might prefer to hold your concerts outdoors in a backyard or on a deck. (Be sure to arrange an alternative rain site.)

WHO TO INVITE?

Invite everyone you know who would enjoy this unique experience: friends, relatives, neighbors, business associates.

HOW LONG IS A HOUSE CONCERT

Two 45-minute sets, or one set of 45 minutes, and one of 30 minutes, with a 20-minute intermission are typical. This format can be tailored to each individual situation.

DO I NEED SPEICAL INVITATIONS?

Word of mouth is the best. I can provide small flyers which you can copy and hand out to your invited guests, give some to your friends to pass out at school, meetings, office, etc. - you can also send out notice to friends on your email list (nothing nicer than having family and friends over for an intimate and personal concert with a great artist). Or you can call and invite them in person. If you're new to House Concerts, please contact me for ideas and suggestions. Above all it should be FUN for everyone!

SHALL I PROVIDE REFRESHMENTS?

Coffee and tea with cake or cookies is popular. How about WINE & CHEESE! More elaborate refreshments are not expected or required, it's totally up to you! Many hosts provide some sort of mini-bar area. Some hosts ask their guests to bring a dish or dessert. Make sure that the refreshments area will not interfere with the performance by walking in front of the performer, etc. - normally refreshments/socializing are before the performance and during intermission, but there may be instances in which someone will need a drink of water or something during a performance, so plan accordingly - for restroom facilities -- try and set up your room so someone going to the restroom during a performance does not detract from the performance. Remember: this is a concert, not background music.

IS THERE A NEED FOR SOUND OR LIGHTING?

This is primarily an acoustic concert. I will bring my own sound equipment, if needed. Lighting can really create a mood and ambiance that is often overlooked. It needn't be complex - a few simple lights with some colored filters, or, candles make for a very enjoyable evening. I would also need a small table to display CDs and music books which I have for sale. Have fun!

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