GRCC Music’s ‘Familiar Places’ shows how virtual performances can come from anywhere, any time and connect with a larger audience

GRCC music instructor Jonathan Marshall playing a guitar.

A print shop, a jewelry store, and the zoo aren’t typical places a classical guitarist might be found. But Grand Rapids Community College music instructor Jonathan Marshall says the pandemic brought dramatic changes to the arts – including how and where people can perform.

Musicians opted for virtual performances during COVID-19. For his upcoming “Familiar Places” virtual concert, Marshall decided to bring his guitar to many places people go to for work or pleasure – but not necessarily to enjoy a concert.

“The idea for this event came to me in a dream, but I believe that the virtual performance world is in its infancy,” he said. “COVID and its restrictions have spurred concertizers and musicians to come up with innovative ideas for the virtual platform. There are many untapped performance and marketing ideas that have yet to be discovered.”

Among his destinations: Robinette’s Orchard, Swift Printing, Paul Medawar Jewelers, Bosgraaf Homes, Ludus Ticketing Co. in Holland, John Ball Zoo Park, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Sawyers Brewing Co. in Montague, RIT Music store, Indian Mounds Road, and on campus at the Linn Maxwell Keller Recital Hall.

The performance will debut online at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, and will be available afterward. Viewing is free, although people are welcome to donate to support GRCC’s International Guitar Series. Access is through a link here.

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