Classical house concert tour looking for a Thompson host

A couple of Winnipeg-based musicians are hoping to recruit a Thompson host for their tour of classical music house concerts.

Nicola Davies and Lisa Rumpel, who both play piano, are the founders of Living Room Live, which completed its first Manitoba and Saskatchewan tour in the fall, featuring performances in Baldur, Pilot Mound, Flin Flon and Estevan, Saskatchewan as well as within Winnipeg.

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“We’re looking to find a few more hosts up north,” Davies says. “There’s a big distance between Estevan and Flin Flon and we’d love to find some more people in between and further north.”

Davies organized some of her own house concerts over the past few years with a cellist.

“I love doing house concerts,” she says. “I just think there aren’t enough. It’s much more common to have folk music house concerts, which is great, but I think it’s really the perfect place to have a classical concert just because it’s so much more relaxed and easier to talk about the music and learn about it and so I wanted to make more classical house concerts happen.”

Davies and Rumpel started working on putting tour routes together and have also organized one in B.C., which is where Davies is originally from.

The main requirement for a host is to have a space to host the performance along with at least 20 guests, as well as being willing to provide room and board for the performer or performers. Much like the folk music Home Routes house concert series, which dropped Thompson from one of its tour routes last year due to low attendance, all of the costs of attending a Living Room Live concert – tickets are $20 each – goes to the performers. If the host has a piano of their own, even better, but Davies says they pack a digital piano and amp for those who don’t.

“An acoustic is nice to have but depending on where we're traveling it’s often hard to find and I think the priority is getting to different places rather than having the best instrument,” Davies said.

Most of the time it will be one or two performers, but for the next tour, which begins in early February, Living Room Live is featuring a soprano, a cellist and piano trio, while the third tour in May will be pair of classical guitarists.

“We’ll be working with a wide variety of musicians so it won’t be the same groups coming up all the time,” Davies says.

Rumpel performed with a saxophonist on the fall tour, which saw about 30 people in attendance in Flin Flon.

“It went really well, I heard,” Davies says.

To inquire about becoming a host, contact Davies and Rumpel at info@livingroomlive.ca. The tour organizers are interested in hearing from people who are ready to go right away as well as those who might need some more time to prepare.

“Someone could potentially start hosting this year or even look potentially towards hosting next year’s season if this year doesn’t work out,” Davies says.

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