Music To Heal the Soul During Covid 19 – Wedding Music Toronto Singer Serenade

March 2020 will probably be remembered as the start of one of the most difficult times in modern day history.  Never in my lifetime, (or my parents for that matter) was the world ever hit with such a pandemic that literally brought everything to a grinding halt. As we progressed through March, more and more restrictions were being placed on Ontarians to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. People were being laid off, businesses were being forced to close. And for those in the music business, this meant that gigs, concerts and tours were all being cancelled.

I was advised in mid-March that a couple of gigs I had lined up at various venues were being cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Then I was told by my Pastor that Cardinal Thomas Collins had cancelled all weekend mass services throughout all of the Archdiocese. To me, this was surreal as mass had never been cancelled during my lifetime. This also had me thinking that many of my summer gigs would probably be cancelled too depending on how quickly the curve was flattened on the infection rates.

What was also equally frustrating to me was that my musical band was in the rebuilding stages as we had been in search of a solid pianist and bass player for close to two years. In January/2020 we had secured an amazing pianist and was just about to audition a promising bass player in March/2020 when things started to get real bad. As a result, I began to worry that another summer would go by and we wouldn’t be able to make music which is what I love doing the most.

Although it is was very easy to get upset and stressed with the current situation, we also have to pay attention to the small blessings. It’s amazing how God can provide even in times when things look so bleak.

At the end of March, I received an email out of the blue from a woman asking if I would be willing to sing a couple of songs and serenade her mother for her 83rd birthday party. She said that at her mother’s age, she did not want to take anything for granted and still wanted to give her a surprise despite these trying circumstances.  Given that people were supposed to avoid gathering together with strangers in large crowds, my initial instinct was to decline the request. However, as she began explaining how she envisioned the serenade, I started to think that this could possibly work. She said that it would take place on the driveway and that her mother would be sitting in a chair quite a distance away from me. She also said that it would  just be herself and her children and perhaps some other family members who would be standing and the end of the driveway watching.  It seemed as though social distancing would be in effect which was of concern to me.

I then started grappling with the different ways people could interpret the event. Would neighbors be mad and call the police claiming that there were a group of people on a driveway together when everyone should be inside self-isolating? My worry was that someone would videotape part of the performance and send it off to a major news station and then I would get labelled the “Corona Crooner” on the 11p.m. news. Or would the music and sentiment be appreciated given that people have been locked up inside their houses. After all, there were many clips of people coming out on their balconies all over the world enjoying live music by individuals who decided to entertain their neighbors.  It was a bit of a gamble as I felt this had the potential to go really well or really bad. At the end of the day, I agreed to the performance. The client had also mentioned something that really struck a chord with me. With her mother turning 83, she explained that “I never forget to celebrate each of her birthdays with something special – you can’t take the next one for granted”. Perhaps it’s because I also have a mother who is the same age, and I always think about how blessed I am that she continues to be in good health and how I would also want something special for her birthday as well. Nevertheless, I showed up and performed for the client’s mother Dawn, and below is how it all turned out.

 

I can honestly say that this was probably one of the most memorable performances I have given.  Perhaps it was the circumstances in which I performed, perhaps it was how happy both Dawn and her mother were with the performance, or even perhaps it was  turning watching the neighbors come out on their driveways to take a listen and enjoy the music. Overall, it was a feel good moment and I am glad that I was able to help create a memorable birthday for a family during what many would consider a very difficult time in the world.

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