Park Slope fiddler offers musical telegrams

Melody Allegra Berger is offering intimate outdoor concerts.
Courtesy Melody Allegra Berger

Fiddler on the move!

Park Slope musician Melody Allegra Berger is offering musical telegrams to cooped-up Brooklynites, giving locals the perfect way to brighten the days of the quarantined music lovers in their lives. 

“It’s a way to spread joy in this crazy time that we’re in,” said Berger, who cooked up the idea for the service, dubbed “Stoop Serenades,” after performing in a surprise outdoor concert for a mutual friend over the weekend of July 18, and seeing how live music could bring people together during a time of isolation.

“It was well-received, all the neighbors came out and listened,” said Berger, who has toured nationally and abroad over the past decade. 

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After creating a Facebook page and posting a video of the first performance, Berger said she’s already lined up a few more gigs.

The award-winning fiddler credits the appeal of her musical telegram service to its analog quaintness, and to a city hungry for live music after the cancellation of permitted events and concerts until further notice.

“Everyone has been missing hearing live music that’s not on a screen right now,” said Berger, who has been teaching violin lessons over Zoom throughout the pandemic. “It’s so old-fashioned and quaint that it’s so appealing when you’ve been existing on a screen for most of your days.” 

While indoor music is off the table, musicians like Berger have slowly and discreetly started to migrate outdoors, where the chance of contracting the coronavirus is considered low and spectators have more room to spread out. In Prospect Park, out-of-work musicians have staged daily gigs at the boathouse, while Flatbush jazz cats have turned the Victorian porches of Ditmas Park into stages.

For Brooklynites deprived of live music, these spontaneous outdoor concerts are more appreciated than ever.

“People just seem enthralled,” Berger said. “Which is kind of the point, to spread the joy one stoop at a time.” 

“Stoop serenades” can be booked at [email protected] or on Facebook.