Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Friday, August 14, 2015 at 7:01 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

The Seattle woman who links classical music and living rooms

Meet Emma Rose Lynn, the driver of Groupmuse events in Seattle. Groupmuse, a national group, uses the Web to link classical-music lovers with like-minded people, all while listening to good music in a relaxed setting.


Special to The Seattle Times

advertising

Attention novelists and screenwriters seeking that fresh angle on millennial manners: you could do worse than set a story within the construct of Groupmuse society.

While you’re at it, base one of your major characters on Emma Rose Lynn, the eloquent and charming 24-year old soprano who is Seattle Groupmuse’s regional coordinator.

Founded in Boston, where the first Groupmuse event — a house party featuring a live concert by classical musicians — took place in January 2013, the organization serves two contemporary purposes.

One is to create a new way to meet, socialize and visit again with other people in one’s city — not always an easy thing to do in busy, demanding times where personal networks are often built online. The other benefit is low-key, inexpensive and simple access to classical music in a comfortable space.

We’re not talking background music behind clinking glasses. Groupmuse organizes concerts in a private home (or any space of any size). The performance might involve a recital or small chamber group, enlisting area musicians who are paid by guest contributions.

“Musicians can bid on events,” says Lynn. “Depending on the size of the group or the host’s requests, I’ll assign what I think are the appropriate musicians.”

Anyone in Seattle who wants to host a Groupmuse party need only visit the website (groupmuse.com) and set it up at no cost. Once the event is approved and players chosen, Lynn posts the party on the site, where anyone can sign up to attend.

Addresses are not posted and are only given to approved guests, and hosts can filter out anyone who strikes them as unsafe.

The more parties a music lover attends, the greater the dividends.

“It really becomes its own social network,” Lynn says. “If you go to Groupmuses all over Seattle, you end up seeing the same group of people with similar interests.”

Groupmuse was founded by Sam Bodkin, whose enthusiasm for informal house gatherings of New England Conservatory students inspired him to create Groupmuse.

Around that time, Lynn, a native of the Pacific Northwest, graduated from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., where she studied classical voice.

“I would do a lot of concerts at my house,” she says. “I’d invite a bunch of classical musician friends over. So when I moved to Seattle, I needed a way to meet people, and a friend told me there’s this thing called Groupmuse. I looked it up and thought, oh my gosh, I think I found my life’s purpose.”

Bodkin put her in touch with other interested parties, and the Seattle chapter was born. The first local event took place in June 2014, and there have been more than 40 since.

While Groupmuse is open to all, Lynn, who will pursue a master’s degree in music this fall, admits the organization “at its core” appeals to millennials used to personal, customized cultural experiences, e.g., on devices. The social aspect of Groupmuse might, in some ways, be an update on classic cocktail parties, but the choice of domestic venue over concert hall ritual is intentional.

“What has been so difficult for the music establishment to understand is how impenetrable it can seem to millennials to go to concert halls, learn the customs, learn not to clap between movements and wear concert attire. As much as arts organizations are bringing down some of those barriers and stereotypes, Groupmuse says, ‘we’ll meet you, we’ll bring classical music to your home.’

“And that is appealing. Great music should be a part of daily life.”

Tom Keogh: tomwkeogh@gmail.com



Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Also in Entertainment

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

 Subscribe today!

Subscribe today!

99¢ for four weeks of unlimited digital access.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►