Singing Through The Quarantine: The Spinrockers and Our Journey to Musical Fulfillment
Keywords: Spinrockers, “Live from the Living Room COVID-19 Concert Series”, music, quarantine, pandemic, COVID-19, performing arts
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Rose and Devin, also known as The Spinrockers, decided the world needed a little boost of positivity in the midst of great uncertainty. They noticed that they had the ability to bring happiness to themselves and to those around them through music, so they decided to share some of that joy on a larger scale. The Spinrockers’ “Live from the Living Room COVID-19 Concert Series” brought smiles to the faces of many. To understand how their weekly shows garnered thousands of views and hundreds of comments from positively impacted fans, you need to understand how The Spinrockers first began.
A teenage girl in a green dress stands in front of a microphone on the left. A young man sits behind a keyboard with audio equipment and a laptop behind him.
Caption: Mary Rose and Devin set up for a live-streamed show from their living room.
In 2017, Devin and Mary Rose were both students at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually impaired (TSBVI). They could always be found humming or belting out a tune on campus. It is no surprise that it was in the Fine Arts Building, their “Happy Place,” that they would first make each other’s acquaintance. Devin participated in TSBVI’s spring production of “Shrek Jr, The Musical,” as Shrek. Mary Rose was a member of the audience and really enjoyed the show.
MR: The play was really fun, I really enjoyed the singing and silly characters, especially Shrek.
After the show, Devin spent some time with the audience members. This is where he and Mary Rose met for the first time. Over the next year, they participated in two TSBVI theater productions together. Mary Rose’s mom would later approach Devin to ask him if he would like to teach Mary Rose music lessons.
D: I was working towards my goal of becoming a professional musician, but the prospect of teaching never really occurred to me. I mean, I knew I could play music and sing, but I felt like I didn’t have the qualifications or experience to teach anyone.
Devin agreed to teach Mary Rose with the support of his musical mentors and teachers. Over time, they began to play at school and community events but knew that if they wanted to be known, they needed a band name.
MR: I enjoy spinning while listening to music, and Devin rocks a lot, so we came up with the name, The Spinrockers.
Devin and Mary Rose would continue to participate in various musical endeavors, including the TSBVI Jazz Band, named The New Motown, musical theater productions, and additional community events. It wasn’t until the coronavirus quarantine that The Spinrockers’ music went live to the living rooms of hundreds of families around the nation.
D: We kind of got the idea from other artists doing live streams around the globe. I initially wasn’t too sure because I didn’t think that people would listen, but with the encouragement of family, friends, and teachers, we decided to go ahead and try a Facebook live concert.
MR: I remember being happy and excited to have our first Spinrockers Facebook Live show.
D: We had only planned to do one concert. We weren’t sure how long the quarantine was going to last. We thought we would be back in school in another week.
The first show had an astounding number of viewers and lots of positive feedback. It was apparent in the days following that first show that COVID-19 wasn’t going away anytime soon, so The Spinrockers decided another show was in order.
D: The next thing I knew, we were talking about an eight-week concert series! I was worried, because I knew this meant a lot of work for both of us. We quickly developed a routine. After each concert, we would spend a day or two finding the perfect songs for the next set. The rest of the week was packed with learning lyrics, arranging multiple songs, and long rehearsals. These shows were live, and there was a certain thrill in not knowing what would happen during the concerts.
MR: I felt excited when it was time to dress up and go live. I was always curious who would tune in that day and what their comments would say. I knew all the work during the week was worth these moments.
The Spinrockers’ really enjoyed performing every Sunday for eight weeks, but the moments after each show were equally important.
D: There were some real bonding moments after each concert. Everybody in the house would gather to read the Facebook comments, re-watch each show, and discuss how it went. It was very rewarding to hear comments from fans who said their days were made better by our music. We really felt like we were making a difference during these crazy times.
MR: The comments were adorable! I thought the fans who tuned in were cool! They made me bubble with excitement!
We received comments from people all over the country. Tony from Idaho wrote, “What a great blessing to finish up our evening with!! Thank you.” Debbie from Indiana shared, “This performance is lifting spirits throughout our whole house. Thank you both for your incredible talent.” Jenny from Minnesota posted, “Love the music! Just what we all need during these tough times! Thank you for bringing us your beautiful music!” Jeremy from Texas said, “Dancing with my wife in the kitchen! Good job guys!” Caryn from Florida shared, “I’m trying to listen, but I can’t help and sing along!!!”
This summer the Spinrockers took their show on the road from the Hill Country of Texas to the north woods of Wisconsin.
A teenage girl and young man pose wearing cowboy boots and hats. Each of them is holding their cane, and the young man is playing a harmonica.
Caption: Mary Rose and Devin pose for a picture during their tour in Wisconsin.
D: We had two socially distanced gigs up north. We would like to continue performing and look forward to becoming a bigger part of the Austin live-music scene.
The Spinrockers really enjoyed the concert series and tour. They are determined to continue their calling to help others through music.
For more information on The Spinrockers and to watch the concerts from the “Live from the Living Room COVID-19 Concert Series”, visit www.facebook.com/thespinrockers. You can also connect with them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.