This one time, at band camp...
April 19, 2010 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Where can I go with a friend (in Houston) to play classical music?

A friend and I want to get together to play some classical music. We're both classically trained flute players.

We'd like to get together on Wednesday evening and run through some music, but need a central location to do it. We're not completely opposed to playing outside, but that's less than optimal for weather, light and sheet music reasons. It's not so much a performance as it is just an informal just-for-fun session, but I'm not sure that a lot of people would absolutely be able to tell the difference. I wouldn't be embarrassed to be overheard. I don't want to piss anyone off.

I'm an alum of a local university, and that's the best I can come up with so far. But I need MetaFilter to help me think outside the box. And if you don't specifically know about options in Houston, where would you go in your city? Who would you speak to about this? What questions and concerns would you have when trying to set up something like this? Are there paid options? And if I try the university option, how should I go about that?
posted by greekphilosophy to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
Many non-profits are willing to let you use their space for cheap, particularly if it's a recurring appointment. They might even be interested in having you provide music for an event like a happy hour. Maybe you could work out some sort of quid-pro-quo with Project Row Houses, DiverseWorks, or another arts organization.

For rentals, you could try Barnevelder, a performing arts venue with practice spaces, which is on the east side of downtown and close to several highways. (I know these folks if you want to pursue this route, feel free to drop my name.)

Another option might be to ask one of the art galleries in Montrose if you can practice/perform there.

Yet another option would be to see about possibly practicing/playing at a nursing home. They might love that.
posted by *s at 9:49 AM on April 19, 2010

It's hard to believe any independent coffee shop like Inversion would not love to have a couple of performers on a weeknight, especially ones doing it for the joy of it (free.) The one near us, Coffee Oasis in Seabrook, has a long-standing Jam Session of Celtic Musicians every Thursday night and the owner loves that kind of stuff.

You could also go down to the Houston Tunnel System. Permits are required for people who want to perform for tips, but there is nothing I can see that prohibits people from playing in public for free. A permit for busking in Houston is $50/year if you would like to play for beer money (or a charity?)

You can play in any Houston Municipal park as long as it's just for your own enjoyment. There are many pavilions at the park -- I'm thinking of a large one by the Hermann Kid's Place playground -- that go unused most of the time. I'd imagine that an evening, even in Houston Summer, would be nice in the park if you have the shelter of a large pavilion. Many city and county parks have community centers that may provide you some space to practice. Your tax dollars at work.

Second the idea of nursing homes and would add daycares and private Montessories, esp in the afternoon. My daughter went to Village Montessori on Bissonet and they seem like the kind of place that would love a live demonstration on occasion. Places like that usually do "school" before lunch and "play" after lunch.
posted by cross_impact at 12:47 PM on April 19, 2010

My daughter belongs to a harp ensemble here in Houston. For the last 3 years (and probably longer) they've traded the use of space at a church (during non-worship times) for doing a performance at the church. i.e., they use a space in the church to practice for a month before their season, and one of the performances of the season is at the church.
posted by Runes at 12:56 PM on April 19, 2010

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