Spoiler: It was one of the most heart-warming concerts we’ve ever presented.
What’s one more change, in the grand scheme of COVID-19? When the lockdown began in March, we were forced to make quick pivots just like almost everyone else. It seemed we had to adjust almost all aspects of operations or we would have to stop presenting concerts for a very long time.
We went online and launched a Pocket Concerts livestream series. We offered to advertise other concert presenters who also had to make the switch to online.
It was an intense amount of work and a steep learning curve that neither Rory nor I had seen coming.
One morning in late May, an email arrived.
Sarah had heard about Pocket Concerts before, and she was wondering if we would consider doing a short performance on her front porch.
Just like that, another change—Porch Pocket Concerts was born!
The first Porch Pocket Concert was one of the most heartwarming concerts we’ve ever presented, and here’s why:
The shock of seeing real people
By late May, my social life was, well, busy, to say the least. I was meeting with friends, family, students, and even strangers all day every day, in two dimensional form through my laptop screen. At our first Porch Pocket Concert, for some of us it was the first time gathering with others in a couple of months. A surreal experience that I’m sure all of us present at the concert will remember for a very long time.
And yes, we had lots of outdoor space, and everyone was respectful of the social distancing rules.
We had a working musician again!
When will we get to perform for a live audience again? We performing artists have been asking ourselves this question since March. During the 30 minutes of Porch Pocket Concert, we had a working musician again. Rory performed for Sarah’s family and a couple of their neighbours, and it was his first time performing for a live audience since the last Ballet show he played back in March.
Sounds blend in new ways when you're outside
A front lawn was an environment that I might not have pictured as the setting for ideal listening experience before COVID-19. We were outside. There was traffic noise we couldn’t control. There was even a disturbed person shouting racial slurs for a little while. But as Rory played some Bach for us, I thought all was harmony.
“It was a life-affirming experience,” the host told us as we were packing up to leave.
We’ve done a few Porch Pocket Concerts since then, and we plan to do as many as we can while the nice weather lasts. Who wouldn’t want a life-affirming experience here and there through these challenging times?