By Mark Rey, Next Avenue – April 2, 2020 – Across the country, virtual concerts are helping people connect with music. In Pueblo, Colo. guitarist and singer Tom Munch has performed everywhere from restaurants to dude ranches to the Royal Gorge Bridge, but nursing home concerts take up much of his time, accounting for 50 gigs a month.
That all changed in March, as COVID-19 forced senior living facilities across the country to take ever more stringent steps to keep their residents safe. So Munch adapted, offering livestreamed concerts via Facebook Live. (It helped that he was already offering his fans living-room concerts on Facebook.)
Munch’s most successful virtual concert to date served several dozen residents of the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center in Walsenburg, Colo. According to activities director Sophia Perez, the staff rotated residents through a common area (while maintaining social distancing) so they could watch the concert on a big-screen TV. Munch was even able to take requests via text.
“The residents loved it,” Perez says. “They were clapping, they were happy, they were excited that they were remembered, that somebody took time out of their day to go above and beyond to bring that to them.”
The concert also gave residents — and Munch himself — a break from increasingly dire headlines. “It’s a real escape,” Munch says. “For me, I totally forget what’s going on once I’m in the flow of a song. It’s kind of a dream that you dive into and you wake up on the other side of it.”
Until the world wakes up on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, Munch is doing what he can to serve, even offering one-on-one virtual concerts for residents who are confined to their rooms.
Note: Tom Munch is also a photographer, known for his daily shots of sunrises and sunsets with his dog from his home in Pueblo West. He produced two non profit calendars with photos and his work is regularly featured at our group Now That Is Pueblo For You! on Facebook.
See full Next Avenue story at https://www.nextavenue.org/how-musicians-are-bringing-joy-during-the-pandemic/