Friday, April 24, 2020

An accompanist in the new COVID Age

2020 has been brutal for the theater community and professional accompanists are not immune. We've all been forced into a whole new way of thinking. Many of us were reluctant to embrace technology; after all, we often get our sheet music physically handed to us by an artist who is auditioning for a role and the casting experts expect us to play the parts flawlessly. I'm always glad when I know the song, but I'm easily annoyed when someone asks me to play it in a different key or speed-up the tempo...yikes!

April Alsup uses technology in the COVID age
April Alsup uses technology in the new COVID age

At least with teleconferencing the participants don't expect us to synchronize our parts with everyone in real-time and we usually get some time to deliver the instrumental accompaniments. I guess someday it'll all be done online, but for now the latency between the connections prohibits that and there seems to be a lot more planning involved in the musical development stages of new online theater productions. Perhaps it should have been that way all along, my guess is we'll be using teleconferencing a lot more even after the pandemic, it really is very convenient and allows us to deliver a better product for everyone involved.