Students in the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School are bringing live musical performances to family living rooms—literally—as part of an initiative called Hartt@Home, where students play a small, intimate concert at a home, with the host’s family and friends as the audience. Since it began in 2016, Hartt musicians have visited living rooms in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
“Hartt@Home is all about building community and sharing music one living room at a time,” says Hartt@Home creator and coordinator Dave McLellan ’76, who is a member of The Hartt School Board of Trustees. It is also a professional development opportunity for students. “Hartt@Home gives them an opportunity to play their degree recital program before they actually have to perform it on campus.”
"You get to share your music in a different way,” says Allison Hughes, ’16, M ’18, of West Simsbury, Conn., a member of Hartt’s honors chamber music program who is studying flute performance. “It’s a more relaxed setting and a more personal experience than performing in a recital hall in front of your classmates.” Allison says she looks forward to playing outside of the traditional recital hall because it brings the art of classical music to people who otherwise might not attend a concert. “It’s a great experience for the performer and the community,” she explains.
Perry Roth of Atlanta, Ga., is a DMA candidate in saxophone performance. He says his group, the Castangia Trio, comprised of two saxophones and a piano, did one of its first outside performances at a Hartt@Home concert. “We talked with a number of the guests about our musical program and what we are doing with our lives and our music,” he says. “It was a very special interaction and a unique setting being in someone’s’ living room with their family and friends.”
In addition to studying music education, Michael Raposo ’17, of Somerset, Mass., works as a professional musician and teaches music in a private studio. He credits the Hartt@Home experience with helping his student-member group, the Resurgam Saxophone Quartet, prepare for a Music Teacher National Association chamber music competition in front of a panel of judges. “We definitely represented well in the competition and made it to the second round. Hartt@Home was a great opportunity to present our program, and it allowed us to interact in a very different way than we do in everyday concerts on campus.”
Hartt@Home is currently presenting instrumental studies and chamber music performances, but McLellan doesn’t rule out the possibility that the dance and theatre divisions of The Hartt School may be added to the home performance mix in the near future.
If you are interested in hosting a Hartt@Home concert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.