Devastated after her graduate recital was canceled due to coronavirus concerns, Brooke Mead nearly gave up. Faced with recording the concert alone, at home, the 23-year-old viola student stopped practicing altogether.
But then, the music took an amazing turn.
After seeking out advice in an online question-and-answer session with the Philadelphia Orchestra, she was invited to perform her recital on the renowned body’s live webcast as the lead-in to a rebroadcast of one of its performances.
That allowed her to reach hundreds of classical music fans around the world who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to hear her play, had her performance gone on as originally planned at Temple University’s Philadelphia campus.
“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally, just thinking about going from a packed hall to no hall, to having possibly to record yourself, to then having this virtual audience,” Mead said.
Now, as she looks to a career as an orchestra performer or administrator, she has a memento to inspire her: a printout to remind her of all the wonderful feedback she received during her recital, virtual cheers and scores of emojis — clapping hands, smiling faces and lots of fire.
“I get to read the real-time reactions to my performance for the rest of my life,” Mead said.
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