Musicians provide their thoughts on live streamed performances

Reagan Connelly, Staff Writer

All performances in Ley Theatre will be live streamed as social distancing and proper ventilation cannot be achieved.

“It’s not the same,” Dr. Melissa Derechailo said. “People really enjoy going to live performances whether it’s music or theatre or dance or whatever. Everybody’s getting antsy wanting to go to live things because the energy is always different in a live performance as opposed to watching it on a screen.”

Ley’s airflow pulls air from the stage over the audience and is simply too small to accomplish proper social distancing requirements. However, performances in Ramsey Theatre will continue to offer an in-person experience, as well as a live streamed one, as social distancing can be achieved in this theatre.

“We became performers so that we could play for an audience,” Dr. Melissa King said. “We prefer to have an audience because it enhances our experience onstage. It creates a unique environment for us to play musically. It’s a setting that’s less of a rehearsal type setting. I think too, it feels really good to see all the people there. Naturally when you have a crowd it’s a really good, warming feeling. So to play for an empty hall always has a little bit of emptiness when you’re onstage, and you just hope that people are tuning in and live streaming the event.”

Musicians are a bit disappointed by this announcement but say they are just happy to be performing again.

“As a singer, when you’re on the stage and have the stage lighting on, the lights are really bright and you can’t really see who is in the audience,” said Dr. Sara Farr. “So once the lights are on it’s sort of a similar experience. It’s weird when you finish to not have any applause. But in the moment you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing, in the act of making music with the other people on stage with you that you kind of don’t notice that there’s not an audience there until it’s over. I think there’s going to be an individual response to it depending on the performer.”

However, they do not think the absence of an audience will affect the musicality too much. “There is definitely an energy from the audience that you feed off of and they also kind of feed off of your performance, it’s kind of symbiotic,” Derechailo said. “Getting that feedback is really important to any performer. But we’ve already been performing for so long it’s probably going to be the same.”

Though the performances in Ley will only be live streamed, performances in Ramsey will have the option to either have an in-person audience or be live streamed. “It’s nice to have the option to stay at home in sweat pants and watch it,” Farr said. She also said performances in Ley will stay in Ley because it has better acoustics for small groups.

No matter how much the musicians love performing for a live audience, the most important thing for the performers is the health and well-being of their audience. “We value our music community,” said Farr. “We want to put their safety first.”