So, blog tagline aside, Tim Smith CAN be everywhere! In fact, he just wrote a great article about the proliferation of alt-classical groups in the Baltimore area which included my other venture, the Federal Hill Parlor Series. Smith also gave credit to the awesome work of some Sybaritic Singer favorites: Classical Revolution – Baltimore, under the leadership of Rafaela Dreisin; Vivre Musicale (I’ll be singing with them next month!); outerspaces, directed by James Young, and Occasional Symphony.
During our Parlor Series interview, Tim Smith mentioned something very interesting. He said, “you know how it is; it’s all about clicks these days.” It’s true that alt-classical or even traditional classical music does not drive internet traffic the same way that sports and politics do these days. However, I would really love to see us drum up some support by sharing this link and commenting on our various social media outposts. It’s important that we show the Baltimore Sun that there is a market for the type of arts journalism and arts reviewing that happens in Baltimore.
Interaction with patrons is a given when the Federal Hill Parlor Series has an event, especially one held in a house.
“The Parlor Series started because I was walking my dog around Federal Hill, seeing pianos in windows, but never seeing anyone playing them,” Ihnen said. “I thought: ‘What if we performed in these houses?’ ”
One program Ihnen devised matches a reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with vocal music from his era to complement a dinner party. Hosts are invited to collaborate with Ihnen on devising musical programs built around particular themes or culinary choices.
Typically, the musicians will perform three or four sets — “Nothing so long that girls in heels can’t stand through it,” Ihnen said — and the selections will be woven throughout a sit-down dinner or a buffet. There might be as few as eight guests, as many as 40.
“When you perform in a home, people are not sitting that far away from you,” Ihnen said. “Musicians find it very different when you can see their faces. People can see you thinking, so you need to be telling a great story through the music. I want to curate programming that is interesting enough on Friday night that you’re still talking about on Monday morning.”
Ihnen is now working on a plan to present concerts later this year at the Sobo Cafe in Federal Hill.
“There are live-entertainment issues in Federal Hill,” she said. “The new owners had to petition for a license so we could perform there. If they get it, we will probably perform on an off-night, when it is not too busy and people can listen and eat easily.”