Wake Robin has always played host to a wide variety of programming. Residents are getting accustom to more webinars and virtual presentations. Gradually, activities and events have been transitioning to outdoor spaces. The Farmers Market is a popular Thursday occasion, and residents can now practice socially-distanced yoga on the new back deck of the Community Center. Even during these nutty times, creativity continues.
One important part of Wake Robin culture – live concerts – was missing and yearned for. Now, staff and residents have collaborated to provide a safe way to enjoy musical performances. And it only took a few weeks to bring the idea to life.
Program and Events Coordinator Jena Necrason and the resident Music Committee brainstormed a solution. They designed a program called “Summer Concerts in the Park(ing Lot)!” which is set in the Community Center parking lot, affording ample space for socially-distant seating. The concerts take place every two weeks on Thursdays, with the alternate weeks serving as rain dates. The shows feature many artists that previously had to cancel indoor performances.
Steve M, a resident co-chair of the Music Committee, appreciated the community coming together to advance the project. “The WRRA (Wake Robin’s Resident Association) was crucial for making this happen, and they were very generous with their support,” he said.
With seatting appropriately spaced and audience members masked, pianist Annemieke Spoelstra McClane and accordionist Jeremiah McClane gave the first concert on July 16th to much acclaim. “People are really enjoying the shows,” said Steve M.
More concerts are lined up for the rest of the summer. Necrason has partnered with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra to bring two VSO affiliated shows to campus; then the Craftsbury Chamber players perform, and a Dulcimer and Harp duo round out the series, which finishes on September 10th.
The concerts are a breath of fresh air. Necrason, who independent of Wake Robin also runs the Vermont Shakespeare Festival, reflected on programming in time of Covid-19.
“It is a refreshing return to live events and the community-driven culture of Wake Robin. With physical distancing and safety protocols in place we can still enjoy time together and a live arts event. Seeing the residents smiling and relaxing in the beautiful evening sunset of Vermont summer, all while listening to professional musicians play, is a joyous thing!”