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la speranza needs your help!

Edited on April 27: We have raised $920 so far! The 25th has come and gone, but we are obviously still taking donations. Our next concert is May 12 and we would be so grateful to have our concert costs covered by then. Thank you for your support!

 

If you haven’t heard, la speranza hopes to raise $2,500 by April 25 to offset costs for the last two concerts of our season. Below is an explanation detailing what your money funds and why we are asking for your support in these crucial few weeks.

Where does $2,500 go?

Funding for hall rental: 16%
We are planning a “summer salon” at MATCH, and your donations so far have helped us put down a deposit to reserve the hall.

Advertising/printing/sheet music/sponsorship fees: 10%
Your donations so far have helped procure the music for our May 12 concert.

Paying musicians: 74%
Each musician who plays with la speranza invests a considerable amount of their time to play a single concert program, not including the thousands of hours and dollars it takes to become a professional musician and maintain a high level of performance. Though la speranza is young, we strongly believe in paying musicians, so we’ve put on only a few concerts this season with the hope of expanding our concert season in the future as more funds become available. You might be wondering if I (Yvonne) pay myself as a performer in la speranza. The answer is NO, not until donations and grants can completely fund our concerts. For now, I make up the deficit with my own money. Practically speaking, this arrangement can’t last forever, and we are relying on donations and grants if la speranza is to continue and thrive.

Anything extra will be applied directly towards costs for next season.

Why donate to la speranza?

Your donations will be tax-deductible.
la speranza is fiscally sponsored by Fresh Arts, a non-profit arts organization. This means that contributions for la speranza will be tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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You’ll allow us bring joy to communities.
Our goal is to bring period instrument chamber music to our communities and promote wellness and healing through our performances. With just two performances under our belt, we have already reached dozens of patients, doctors, and nurses at Houston Methodist Hospital as well as the community in Spring Branch. One concertgoer wrote afterwards: “[We] were both feeling a little rocky last night but the four of you truly lifted our spirits.” We would not have the honor and privilege of brightening others’ days without your contributions.

You’ll help us accomplish big plans.
We have an entire concert series in the works for next season called “Mentors Inspire” that explores the life and influence of Haydn. We also plan to implement a hospital outreach program by the end of the upcoming season in which our musicians give informal performances for patients and their families in their rooms.

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Here’s a partial list of everything we want to accomplish in the next five years:
-Neighborhood tours of our concert programs
-Lecture series in conjunction with our concert season about the benefits of music and aspects of historically informed performance
-Residence at a yoga studio
-Annual Texas tour, giving concerts in communities around the state
-Acquisition of a fortepiano
Meeting these goals starts with your support this year. We’re beyond excited about what we can accomplish with your generosity!

Please visit THIS LINK to make a tax-deductible donation.

If you’ve already donated, thank you! We are so grateful for your support.
If everyone who follows la speranza on Instagram and Facebook were to give $15, we would surpass our goal. If you’re not in a position to give and if you’ve already given, please share this campaign (and this blog post) with your friends and family.

Thank you!

 

 

March 30 Concert

Here’s a recap of last week in pictures. Enjoy!

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During a well deserved break in rehearsal
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Gremlin helping us get some work done
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Our first program!
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sound check at Christ the King Presbyterian. They were such wonderful hosts!
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Final bows. Tired and happy smiles!
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Enjoying the reception. Unfortunately we did not get a photo with the reception table which was beautifully prepared by Phyllis Smith. We had about 20 in attendance, and as a result of ticket sales and donations, we are 20% of the way towards our fundraising goal. The four of us had a wonderful time performing for our audience and are looking forward to our next concert in May.

Why period instruments?

la speranza performs on period instruments, that is, instruments that are as close as possible to original instruments of the era from which we are performing.

Many friends and colleagues have asked me why we would use these period instruments when we could just as easily perform the same works on modernized instruments?

Simply, we strongly believe in the power of the intimacy that performing on original instruments provides to both the musicians and the audience. These original instruments are without the acoustic modifications that allow modern instruments to project in large halls, providing a warmer, grittier sound that is more suitable for smaller gatherings and is more similar to what audiences of the 18th and 19th centuries would have expected.

Ever since I was introduced to historically informed performance practice, I have been fascinated with how similar period instruments are to humans. The vulnerable yet engaging sound of period string and wind instruments is closely reminiscent of the human voice in both song and speech. I’ve also observed a connection between period instruments and community building. Period instruments are less acoustically “perfect” than their modernized counterparts; therefore, playing them and blending well with other period instruments requires a delicate balance of mildness and muscle, maintaining flexibility and accompanied by a vast knowledge of history and learning spirit. As humans, we use all of these qualities as we seek to understand ourselves, maintain relationships, and build communities.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital and fast-paced, this connection in live community is elusive yet so important! We hope to see you at one or both of our concerts this season to hear live chamber music from the Classical and Romantic eras on historically appropriate instruments. At each concert we’ll explain exactly what constitutes a “period” instrument. You’ll also hear from Thomas Carroll, historical clarinet virtuous and builder , who will talk about his instruments that he’s modeled after original clarinets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Finally, you’ll experience the unique connection that exists in historically informed performance between the audience and performers that inspired each of us in pursuing our crafts.

—Yvonne

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Yvonne Smith, with her viola modeled after an 18th century German instrument