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North Sydney's Stanley Street Sessions offers house concerts throughout the year

Rob Durando CONTRIBUTED/CELTIC COLOURS
Rob Durando CONTRIBUTED/CELTIC COLOURS
NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. —

A chance to hear your favourite musicians without the background din of other people’s annoying chatter is a big reason behind the success of house concerts, something that Shirley Dalton hopes to maintain with her Stanley Street Sessions.

Dalton, originally from Newfoundland, participated in house concerts when she lived there. When she moved to North Sydney about 12 years ago, the lack of such concerts there and a musician friend who occasionally visited proved to be the impetus for establishing her own concerts.

Dan Doiron CONTRIBUTED
Dan Doiron CONTRIBUTED

“I had a friend who was a singer-songwriter from Newfoundland so when she came over to visit, we’d always put a little house concert at my Archibald Avenue home,” said Dalton in a recent interview. “Then myself and my husband purchased Stanley Street for my preschool and then it was natural to have the house concerts over there.”

The name, Stanley Street Sessions, “sounded really cool with the whole alliteration thing” and Dalton turned it from an occasional concert held a few times a year to a once-monthly event. The concerts are held in the home’s first floor and, unlike most house concerts, where people can flop wherever they feel like it, the Stanley Street sessions are set up like a mini-concert hall.

“It seats 30 and I have it set up like a concert setting,” says Dalton. “I’ve been to some house concerts where people are sitting where they can but that sometimes leads to a bit of chatting. I feel if you have it in a concert setting, then that’s what is expected. You’re at a concert and you got rows of seats. That’s one of the reasons why the performers enjoy it is that people are listening and they’re not fighting the bar noise, the background noise, to be heard.”

With only 30 or so people in the audience, it makes for a cozier ambiance and a more pleasant concert-going experience, Dalton adds.

“I love the intimacy and you actually get to hear the performer and the stories,” says Dalton.

The concert is set up into two 45-minute sets with a half-hour in-between so people have a chance to chat and to purchase an artist’s merchandise such as T-shirts and CDs. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available or you can bring your own drink.

In the past, such performers as Jordan Musycsyn, Margaret MacPherson and Dan Doiron have performed and the next concert slated is for February 15 at 7:30 p.m. with Lucy MacNeil and her husband, guitarist Rob Durando.

To get tickets to this as well as notification of future events, contact Shirley Dalton at 902-304-6321 or email Shirleyece2001@yahoo.ca.


IF YOU GO...

  • WHAT: Stanley Street Sessions
  • WHERE: 100 Stanley St., North Sydney
  • WHEN: Various times throughout the year.
  • TICKETS: Contact Shirley Dalton at 902-304-6321 or email  Shirleyece2001@yahoo.ca

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