How to calendar

Letter V’s events calendar, posted on the first of each month, aims to be a comprehensive guide to live classical music in Virginia and the Washington area. Without your help, however, it will be incomplete.

While the calendar focuses on classical performances, it also includes orchestras’ pops and family concerts and programs of non-classical and non-Western musics with artistic and cultural heft (as I weigh it – I’m pretty open-minded). Concerts by collegiate ensembles, youth orchestras and musically trained but unpaid groups such as choirs and community orchestras also are listed.

The calendar doesn’t list private or invitational events, music that’s part of a religious service (with some exceptions, mainly around major holy days) or students’ solo or studio recitals.

There’s no charge for listings, but . . .

The harder it is for me to find out about a performance, the less likely it is to appear in the calendar. More than three clicks into the innards of a website and a couple of e-mail exchanges, and I’m ready to give up. I know how hard it can be for a small organization staffed by volunteers to prepare and distribute publicity, and I can help – but please don’t make me dredge it out of you.

A calendar item that informs the reader includes: who’s performing, when and where (with an address), what selections or at least which composers are featured (not listing a program is like saying, “The Bijou will show a movie”), ticket price or price range (“tickets start at $10” is huckster marketing) or request for donations (“free” means no one asks the audience for money), Covid-19 safety measures, a phone number for the public to call and a website to visit.

Here’s a sample of Letter V’s calendar format:

Dec. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Grace Baptist Church, 4200 Dover Road, Richmond
Dec. 12 (3 p.m.)
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, Henry Street at College Avenue, Ashland
Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale
Ryan Tibbetts directing
Daniel Stipe, organ

Handel: “Messiah” – Part 1 (Christmas portion)
Cecilia McDowall: “A Winter’s Night”

$15
masks recommended
(800) 838-3006
http://cvamc.org

A basic web address (yournamehere.domain) is sufficient, and there’s no need to fuss with typefaces. I’ll deal with all that.

About physical addresses: If a venue is at an intersection, naming the cross streets gives readers a better locator than a numbered street address, which isn’t visible on many buildings. If the address is on some purpose-built street (“Arts Center Lane”), it’s helpful to name a well-traveled road nearby (“off Route 123”). I don’t list addresses within college campuses, but I do for urban schools’ buildings on city streets.

You can reach me by clicking “Contact” – top of the blog, right-hand corner.