MISSOULA — UPDATED (8/6/20, 10 PM): Missoula’s lively music scene hasn’t been too lively this summer. For performers and audiences alike, those missing performances have put a real damper on an already unusual year.
But David Cody, a music professor at the University of Montana, knew there had to be a way to overcome the obstacles live music venues are facing, so he got to work.
“Early in June, I started talking with some of my singer friends in town because we were just starved to perform,” said Cody.
So, he looked around, and seeing his driveway, his yard, and a handful of lawn chairs, he knew he had the essentials for a DIY outdoor concert venue.
“We tried to keep it roughly under 50 people," Cody said. "I put flyers on my neighbors doors and posted on Facebook to let my friends know.”
Along with his wife, some friends, and UM music students, Cody has brought pop, show tunes and classical music to the South Hills. He said the unexpected benefit in all of this has been meeting people that he otherwise wouldn’t have met.
“It brings people together, allows us to share music, and it's very simple,” said Cody.
Hannah Featherman lives just three houses down. She had been itching for some live music this summer when she happened upon the concert last week.
“I was watering my plants a couple houses down and I heard the music, so I walked down and listened to the last few songs,” Featherman said.
Even during a pandemic, Featherman and the rest of the driveway music audience have found a way to connect, and all from the comfort of their neighborhood.
“It’s one of those smack your head moments where you think, this is so much fun. Why did we wait for a pandemic to do something like this, share music with our neighbors?” said Cody.
ORIGINAL (8/6/20, 10:00 AM): Missoula’s music scene hasn’t been too lively this summer for performers and audiences alike and this has put a real damper on an already unusual year.
But David Cody, a music professor at the University of Montana, knew there had to be some way to bring back his love of performance.
From the comfort of his driveway, Cody, his wife, his students, and musician friends perform Wednesday evenings for his neighborhood in the South Hills.
To get the word out, Cody placed flyers on his neighbor's doors, and made a post on Facebook about the “driveway music.”
Each week, folks show up for a short concert, bringing their masks and lawn chairs. So far they’ve heard pop, show tunes, and most recently classical music.
Cody says he’s received positive feedback from his neighbors while the performers are just grateful to work on their craft.
"When we do this so much, and then are deprived of it. It's just hard to describe. It's a need, that's not fulfilled," Cody said. "And when you don't have a performance on your calendar sometimes you don't have that motivation to practice."
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