In a town where musical waters run deep--very deep--Mount Dora musicians have a strong bond with each other and their community. Perhaps it’s something in the water, but for years this small Central Florida town has garnered far more than its share of insanely talented performers.
There is no competition between these creative souls, but rather a beautiful brotherhood and sisterhood built on genuine support, collaboration and mutual appreciation. It’s this mix of impressive talent and humble hearts that has earned Mount Dora's local musicians loyal community support.
When Florida’s restaurants and bars were ordered closed in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the area's musicians found their gigs at local watering holes abruptly cancelled. This was a staggering financial blow to these full-time performers whose income is dependent on regular bookings at local venues.
Now Mount Dora’s enviable stable of talent have put their creativity to use in a socially-distanced venue: live streaming. The online performances provide old fans and curious music lovers the opportunity to be entertained by virtual concerts from the safety of the musicians' homes.
The livestreaming has resulted in surprisingly intimate performances where the musicians interact openly with viewers, provide insight about their song choices, and share how they relate particular lyrics to their life experiences. The result is an interesting social and musical experiment where even long-time fans come away with a greater understanding of their favorite artists and the music they play.
Watching the livestreams on Facebook is free and begins much like strolling down the sidewalk and hearing music nearby that resonates with you. It stops you dead in your tracks, as you focus to hear the melodies and vocals before getting completely sucked in. During or after the performers’ engaging livestream concerts, any listeners that are inclined to tip or donate can do so through secure online services like Paypal and Venmo to help support the musicians.
Here is a quick guide to help music lovers find these amazing live stream experiences on the musician’s Facebook pages.
Stephen Currence, 6 p.m. on Instagram Venmo tipping: stephen-currence
Jeff Whitfield, 7:30-9 p.m. on Facebook (Jeffrey G. Whitfield) PayPal tipping: firstname.lastname@example.org Venmo tipping: jeffwhitfieldmusic
Other talented performers like Richard Lawrence Hull (tipping link: paypal.me/RichardLawrencePay) and David Oliver Willis may also live stream performances, but on a less regular basis. Check the entertainment calendar or their Facebook pages for upcoming performances.
Anyone can watch the streaming and viewers can join or leave the performances at their convenience. Music fans seeking stellar entertainment can also find updated schedules on the Mount Dora Buzz’s entertainment calendar here.
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online entertainment calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.