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Hosting a Hartt@Home event

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hartt@Home?

Hartt@Home is an audience development initiative administered by the Audience Development Committee of Julius Hartt Foundation Board of Trustees. The program matches a Hartt performer with an individual or group that agrees to host a performance.  The host provides a comfortable atmosphere in the home and creates an audience by engaging their social networks.  Hartt@Home is a professional development opportunity for student performers, and also plays a key role in rekindling and deepening relationships with Hartt and University alumni and supporters.

Who do I contact to indicate interest in hosting?

Contact the Hartt@Home coordinator at the University of Hartford email address hartthome@hartford.edu. Though the coordinator may change over the years, the program email address will never change.

Who are the performers?

Hartt@Home performers are primarily Hartt graduate and undergraduate students in performance degree programs. They are pianists, string players, wind players, guitarists, harpists, and singers. They are mostly classical musicians, but students in the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz also give Hartt@Home concerts.

Being in a performance degree program is not a requirement to give a Hartt@Home performance. Many students in non-performance majors (Music Education, Music Management, Acoustics, for example) have given outstanding Hartt@Home performances.

Hartt faculty members occasionally are featured in special Hartt@Home presentations.

Do I have to have a piano?

A piano is not required to host Hartt@Home performances.  There are many types of artists who do not need a piano: solo guitar and harp, chamber groups such as string quartet, wind and brass quintets.

I have a piano, is it good enough?

If a host has a piano and is interested in using it in a Hartt@Home event, we will bring one of our pianists to try it out during the initial venue visit.  In general, we insist that the piano must be a good quality grand piano, and not an upright or spinet.  We do check the piano for its suitability in two classes of use:  solo piano recital and for collaborative use in chamber music and accompaniment.  The details of the differences are discussed during the venue visit.

How much space do I need in the performance area?

Hartt@Home performances are held in a wide variety of spaces, usually living rooms, great rooms, or similar rooms in a home.  A reasonably sized living room that could seat roughly fifteen to twenty people in folding chairs would be considered adequate. The program has never disqualified a host because of a small performance area.  Factors also include the space required for the performers and the recording engineer and equipment. The coordinator can provide assistance when discussing space requirements and audience capacity.

How many people should I have in the audience?

Consider that your audience should be no bigger than can fit in the space with room to move around, in and out of the space (restroom use, refresh a wine glass, etc.). The home visit is the first step to plan for an audience size. 

The Hartt@Home program coordinator can, at the request of the host, help supplement the audience by inviting local alumni, board members, Hartt Community Division families, and other interested parties.

Who should I invite?

Friends, family, and business associates are usually the first pools of guests that hosts draw from. Arts supporters, arts management executives, radio, TV, and print representatives are also good listeners.  If you have an important or well-known guest attending, let the program coordinator know. 

Other than the performers, who comes to the event from The Hartt School?

Every Hartt@Home event is also attended by at least one board member who acts as informal MC for the event. With the host’s permission, and space and schedule permitting, we ask that the student’s studio teacher also attend. A Hartt recording engineer (undergraduate student enrolled in the recording technology program) also brings equipment to produce a professional audio recording.

Does it cost anything?

There is no specific fee, payment to The Hartt School, or any artist, engineer, or any administrative personnel associated with Hartt@Home events.  The only costs a host may incur relate specifically to mailing of invitations and other publicity the host chooses, the choice of food and beverage, and any other costs the host chooses based on the specific event.

I live outside of Connecticut.  Can I be a Hartt@Home host?

Definitely!  We have plenty of hosts in the Connecticut, but many in Massachusetts, some in New York, and the list is always growing.  A general rule of thumb is that performers and engineers should not expect to travel more than two hours by car.

Can I ask for a specific type of performance?

Yes, the host can state a preference, which we try to satisfy, but there is no guarantee that we can meet the request.  The factors include performance space size, whether there is good grand piano, scheduling issues (matching performer and host calendars), and artist availability. Flexibility with schedule helps getting the type of artist you prefer. 

I’m having a party and would like background music. Is Hartt@Home the right choice?

No, Hartt@Home performances are not suitable as background music for social (and noisy) events. A Hartt@Home performer plays a concert for an attentive audience who listens actively and can interact with the performer as well.  If you are looking for a group to supply background music, please visit The Hartt School Gigline page here: https://www.hartford.edu/hartt/resources/gigline.aspx.

Are the artists paid?

Hartt@Home artists are not paid for their performance.  Every artist views Hartt@Home as an opportunity to represent The Hartt School, to take advantage of another chance to run a degree program prior to the graded performance, and/or to get extra exposure to audiences.  Sharing great music through exceptional artistry and social interaction is a great responsibility of a gifted musician, dancer, or actor.  Hartt@Home is an ideal training ground for developing that citizenship.

What is the timeline for a Hartt@Home performance?

The main requirement is that hosts provide a pleasant space for a performer to share an exceptional program with an appreciative audience. Although hosts are free to structure the event at their home as they wish, the most successful and memorable events have the following characteristics:

  1. Guest arrival: social mingling, light food and drink, about 45-60 minutes. Some artists are comfortable with mingling before the performance; others prefer quiet time before performing.
  2. Performance: about 60-75 minutes without intermission, about 90 minutes with intermission.
  3. Reception: Continued social mingling, especially with artists, as long as everyone is having a good time.

How long does a Hartt@Home concert program last?

The performance generally lasts about 60-75 minutes without intermission, about 90 minutes with intermission. If a student is preparing for a degree recital, you can expect an intermission program. Chamber music may or may not use an intermission, jazz events generally do not, and vocal studies programs do not.

Do I have to ask guests for donations to The Hartt School?

Absolutely not.  Hartt@Home is a friend-raising program, and we never ask for donations to The Hartt School.  We are committed to the social and artistic experience of a Hartt@Home event, and explicitly introduce the events as friend-raising activities, not fund-raising. We won’t turn down a donation; some listeners have enjoyed the experience so much that they become regular supporters of The Hartt School. 

I would like to host, but my home isn’t right for such an event.  Can I still host?

Yes, although each situation is different. The best approach is to partner with a friend who shares your excitement, and host at his or her home.  If you live in an apartment building, consider using a common space (which may require approval from building management).  We do use some non-home venues such as churches, libraries, and other facilities, but each of those has a specific host (person or group).

More important than the actual venue is the role of host; we rely on hosts to assemble audiences from their own social networks.  We also rely on hosts to be creative about venues if their own homes don’t fit, and we can help you choose a venue if your own home doesn’t work.