By Mia Mitchell
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Virtual concerts that are livestreamed or put on video chat apps are becoming more popular as the pandemic makes hosting in-person events a huge health risk. The Black Music Festival Virtual Show 2020 recently took place and a Camden County College music professor who assigns his students to curate a virtual music festival says the Black Music Festival may become a part of his curriculum.
The Black Music Festival Virtual Show was livestreamed from the United Kingdom at 7 p.m. Nov. 28. The virtual concert as well as previous concerts remain available for viewing.
The Black Music Festival Virtual Show featured numerous local, international and island artists performing hit songs and their original pieces. The three-hour concert had more than 10 performers and many different performances, from reggae to gospel to jazz.
Performers included island singers Denmarc Creary and KHNDY, gospel singer Noel Robinson and jazz performer Omar Lyefook. Each performed about three songs and was accompanied by a live band.
Camden County College Music Professor Michael Billingsley attended the virtual concert. He assigns his Music 101 students an end-of-the-semester project that requires each student to curate a virtual music festival with two performances. The students must research performers and performances, then record and advertise the performances they chose.
“I listened to a few performances and they’re exactly the kinds of performances I’d hope my students would encounter and engage,” Billingsley said. The Black Music Festival may become a part of the curriculum for future semesters.
Camden County College student Nikki Mody attended the virtual concert on her school laptop at home. “The concert was something anybody would enjoy and was not something I would normally watch but I like how it brought me out of my comfort zone,” Mody said.
Black Music Festival: https://boxcast.tv/view/black-music-festival-2020-640808
National Public Radio page for virtual concerts and music: http://npr.org/music