Music to our Ears: Easy Home Concert

Above: Spontaneity is always fun at a house concert. Here, musician and marketing guru Andy TeBockhorst was a guest at a concert hosted by Katie and Jay Byers, who persuaded him to knock out a number he played at their wedding reception.

Based on our experience, house concerts are great fun — inviting friends and a performer for an intimate evening of entertainment. Last summer, for instance, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting the members of the Kris Lager Band — and hearing them perform — at Katie and Jay Byers’ Des Moines home.

Among the most experienced local house-concert hosts, the couple now is making it easier for anyone to host a concert at home. As Katie says: “I have decided to make it my personal mission to start an organized house concert movement and create a network of hosts from coast to coast.”

Enter HomeDitty, an online service she is developing with Entrepreneurial Technologies in Urbandale that handles the details: bookings, donations, payments to musicians, etc. “HomeDitty is currently in BETA testing,” Katie wrote in an email to potential hosts, “and we are seeking volunteers who are interested in signing up as hosts to test our software prototype. It is free to sign up and host.” If you’re interested in hosting, send her an email at

The beauty of house concerts, in Katie’s view: “It’s a front row, backstage, VIP experience all rolled into one.” Read more about the Byers’ house concerts in this dsm story.

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