Carrie Krause, Annabeth Shirley, Nate Helgesen at the Red Barn in White Sulphur Springs

Outreach

Baroque Music Montana presents concerts played by some of the world’s top Baroque artists playing on period instruments. Most, but not all, concerts feature music composed in the Baroque era. But all are informed by history, which is shared with the audience through research and storytelling. We also aim to perform in historically relevant spaces, bringing attention and new audiences to historic venues and developing relationships in rural communities throughout Montana. These communities are ideal for the small ensembles in intimate settings that Baroque music was created for.

Here are some examples of recent performances that reflect BaMM’s commitment to outreach, history, and rural communities:

One concert of music not from the Baroque but very much in keeping with “music inspired by history” is the April 2022 Recital via Railroad: Historic Montana Violin & Piano, 1890-1920. Carrie Krause researched the first violin recitals given in Montana, with the assistance of Jodi Allison-Bunnel, head of archives and special collections at Montana State University. Carrie shared the same “tunes of the day,” accompanied by pianist Julie Gosswiller, that the best violinists in the world played for audiences in opera houses and theaters from Belt to Livingston at the turn of the century. Carrie and Julie also held a master class in Lewistown, which has only one violin teacher who is a rancher who lives 40 miles away, and one piano teacher. The Lewistown concert was held in the Montana Day Building, formerly the Emporium, on the corner of 3rd and Main, built in 1916 and purchased by Doug and Loraine Day in 2019. The Days are from Livingston and have begun restoration on the building, in which they intend to hold concerts, house a music studio, and sell ice cream.

In its six seasons so far, BaMM has held more than 120 concerts, with an average of 20 concerts reaching about 1,000 people per season. We have performed in the following communities, and we consistently seek out more venues across Montana:

Anaconda, Basin, Bozeman, Big Sandy, Big Sky, Billings, Columbus, Emigrant, Gardiner, Hamilton, Helena, Jeffers, Martindale, Lewistown, Livingston, Manhattan, McLeod, Missoula, Paradise, Pine Creek, Red Lodge, Shelby, Shepherd, Townsend, Virginia City, White Sulphur Springs, and Willow Creek.

We have also performed in Salmon, Idaho, and Sheridan, Wyoming. During Covid, we produced several concerts online. Our 2020 Christmas concert received more than 3,000 views from 16 countries–and example of global outreach.

Recent examples

  • In June, we are playing in the Phillipsburg Opera House Theater. As the oldest operating theater in the state, established in 1891, this definitely fits the bill of being an historically relevant space. Our Historic Churches Tour in 2021 is another good example of both rural and historic concert venues we have played in.
  • June brings a community garden benefit concert in Jeffers, another musically underserved populace. Our hosts are offering this concert free to children and are canvassing local school music teachers to spread the word to the Ennis community. Another benefit concert will be held in Virginia City, where proceeds will go toward restoration of the stained glass windows in historical St. Paul’s Episcopal church, whose congregation first met in 1865.
  • In our several Backyard Baroque concerts, middle- and elementary school children will “open” the performance. This “picnic-welcome” format reaches a unique crowd of children, neighbors, and community members who might not attend a more formal concert. The August Backyard Baroque concert is an outreach performance for our Period Performance Workshop attendees, who all attend at a discounted student rate.
  • Many of our concerts are free, including our concert at a home in Pine Creek, drawing music lovers and neighbors from the “classical music desert” of the Shields and Paradise valleys. We will play another free concert at a new riverside location in Gallatin Gateway, reaching a new audience, and at the historic Ringling House in White Sulphur Springs.
  • BaMM frequently plays in schools. In our 2021-22 season we played for and with the guitar class at the high school in Plains and the middle- and high schools in Shelby in November, and in March led a class for violin and young piano students in Lewistown. We also collaborated with Montana Chamber Music Society and played for the 3rd graders at Hawthorne elementary school in Bozeman in April.
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