Updated: Sep 21, 2022
The entertainment industry has a long standing tradition that has been said everywhere from broadway stages to sold-out arena tours: “The show must go on.”
At Belmont, that mentality is just as strong.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts and shows all across the world have been postponed or cancelled. The Best of the Best Showcase was no exception. However, on Wednesday night the Curb College Showcase Series hosted the first ever online Best of the Best Showcase: “Live From Here to Anywhere”.
Once it became clear that the event set to take place on April 4 in the Curb Event Center would not happen, the President of the Showcase Series Dominique Detwiler and the Producer for Best of the Best Tom Rowles began brainstorming ideas to keep Best of the Best alive.
Rowles, the head of production on the Showcase Series Council, understood the impact that the Best of the Best showcase can have for the musicians who play in it.
“I was heartbroken for the artists. It’s such a big moment for artists’ careers,” said Rowles.
They knew that, no matter what, the show had to continue. Although these two seniors lost their last hoorah at Belmont, they were determined to not let this be the end.
After being encouraged by a mentor in the Curb College, Detwiler realized that she had to make something that was bigger than herself. Her hope was to come out the other side and be able to say, “Hey we made the best of this whole situation and created something beautiful out of it.”
Coming up with the idea to take Showcase online was only the start of a long process to get a plan in action.
“One of the biggest hurdles we had to go through was creating something for Belmont that had never been done before,” Rowles said.
The show itself featured appearances from several showcase winners from the 2019-2020 school year and also beloved faculty members like Antonio Peebles from Belmont Dining Services.
Although it was a much different feel from the high production value of a typical showcase, the talent of Belmont was still on display.
Each artist performed one song, everywhere from the back of a van all the way to a beachfront venue.
Lead singer of Secondhand Sound, Sawyer Estok, started off the performances with an acoustic version of their song “Pocket Change”. Even though the entirety of the Battle of the Bands winning band could not be with him, he still brought the alternative rock vibe that Secondhand Sound is known for.
Next, Belmont favorite Fall Follies took to the screen to perform their skit, “Excuses for getting out of conversations during quarantine.”
Detwiler said the decision to include the Follies in this production stemmed from a desire to “make this beyond just the showcase series and make it more Belmont.”
Performances from Chirstian Showcase winner Natalie Layne and Pop Rock Showcase winner Annie DiRusso encompassed the true spirit of “Live from Here to Anywhere” as they performed their songs from home pianos and living rooms.
The winners of two fall Writers Nights performed as well. Mia Mantia performed her song “Better in Orange” and Carter Faith performed “Leaving Tennessee”.
A real sentimental moment of the show came from Urban Showcase winner Chloe Hogan. Performing the uplifting song, “Peace on Earth”, Hogan chose to include videos and images from her time at Belmont and performance in the Urban Showcase.
While this showcase may have a very different feel to the in-person concerts that the Belmont community knows and loves, the ability to change on a dime is a critical skill to have in the music industry -– especially in the midst of a global pandemic.
“The whole point of the showcase is to provide artists and production people with experience that they can carry on into the entertainment industry,” said Detwiler.
If you missed the show on Wednesday evening, you can find it here on Belmont’s YouTube page.
Photo taken from Live From Here to Anywhere livestream.