Candlelight and Vantage House form mature partnership

Candlelight Concert Society, which is embarking on its 41st season, and Vantage House, a retirement community, both qualify as mature institutions in Columbia. Wisdom comes with maturity, of course, so their new partnership qualifies as a smart idea.

The arrangement involves having Candlelight provide speakers who will give free introductory lectures at Vantage House for upcoming Candlelight-sponsored concerts at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. These lectures are not just for Vantage House residents, however, but are open to the public.

Some residents at the 222-unit Vantage House already attend Candlelight concerts and others presumably would be interested in learning more about this chamber music series. The retirement community also has other on-site arts-oriented programs; and a Columbia Association shuttle bus takes residents to off-site events in the area.

"The arts are more than just an occasional event in their lives, but are a regular part of it," said Andrew Morgan, director of marketing at Vantage House.

Candlelight and Vantage House officials note that the new partnership expands upon already-existing cooperation between them.

"Vantage House has in a sense been a partner of Candlelight for several years," said Philip Press, president of the board of directors of Candlelight Concert Society.

Candlelight's annual fund-raising gala has been held at Vantage House a few times, he said, with the next one taking place there on April 5, 2014.

Also, Press gave a lecture at Vantage House prior to one of last season's Smith Theatre concerts.

Looking toward the new season, Press and Candlelight Executive Director Tracy Schutty will give a season overview at Vantage House on Sept. 19 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The program will include video clips and audience questions in a social hour atmosphere.

Press is hardly a newcomer when it comes to telling people about Candlelight programs. He has been involved with this chamber music organization since its inception, back when "the office was our dining room."

It has been his experience that when he discusses Candlelight with people who have not attended chamber music concerts before, they sometimes express concern that they don't know enough about classical music to fully appreciate such concerts. He tries to put them at ease by telling them: "You just come and let the music talk to you."

There is limited public seating available for Candlelight Concert Society's program on Sept. 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Vantage House, 5400 Vantage Point Road in downtown Columbia. To register, contact Jen Jordan at For general information about Vantage House, call 410-964-5454 or go to

The Candlelight Concert Society season, which is presented in Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, consists of Dover String Quartet on Oct. 5; Jupiter String Quartet with guest violist James Dunham on Oct. 19; Meccorre String Quartet on Nov. 9; the trio known as miXt, consisting of violinist Benjamin Beilman, clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and pianist Ran Dank, on Dec. 14; Fine Arts Quartet with Roberto Diaz on Jan. 11; Amelia Piano Trio on Jan. 25; violist Veit Hertenstein and TBA pianist on March 22; New York Chamber Soloists on April 5; and the winner of next spring's Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition on June 15. Call 410-997-2324 or go to

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