There were times over the last six months when the words “live concert” seemed to be a dated concept for the Avalon Foundation. Shut down by the COVID-19 crisis, staff and patrons alike were more than worried that one of the most essential parts of Avalon’s programming would come to an abrupt end as Maryland’s stay-at-home orders were issued in March. With no ability to forecast when the Avalon Theatre or the Stoltz Listening Room would open its doors again, it was hard to see any silver lining for the art organization that had made its weekly concerts one of the most successful and critical acclaimed parts of its regional reputation.
Equally disappointing was the technology being used for remote concerts. While Zoom might have been a godsend to hundreds of businesses and schools eager to keep their lights on, the use of such tools had minimal appeal for the world of musicians. Those software programs’ video quality was marginal at best, while the compression of audio signals made professional musicians pull their hair out.
But as the Avalon’s Tim Weigand explains in his interview with the Spy yesterday, much as changed since so those early days of the coronavirus. The Avalon team devoted months to testing different models that would allow the venue to continue live performances and perfect their video and audio equipment that would provide a professional-grade level for remote concerts.
And it the last few weeks, all of this has come together in a unique pairing of limited seating live concerts and a robust live stream experience. Saturday concerts at the Avalon now allow seating up to twenty in their main theatre (which typically holds close to 200 seats) and, at the same time, offers viewers at home to plug in through Facebook and YouTube.
This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Avalon Theatre schedule, please go here.