Miss Emily, otherwise known as Prince Edward County native Emily Fennell, has a stage presence more infectious than the Coronavirus.
Like many musicians across the country, Fennell recently performed a live concert while self-isolating from her home in Kingston, Ontario. The concert was streamed Saturday through Facebook.
The musican joined the ranks of Canadian performers such as Jim Cuddy and Ashley MacIsaac who have recently shared their talents online while people across the country self- isolate.
Fennell cited her reason for participating in this practice was not only to comfort herself, but to help provide medicine for the soul.
“I decided to do this last Saturday as music and my ability to perform it has always been my medicine and also how I’ve been able to comfort others over the years,” she said.
Before beginning her hour-long performance, the local musician joked that her living room is not always bedecked with “Miss Emily” posters and that her family, like many others, are self-isolating.
The music, which was mostly by request, was punctuated with anecdotes from Fennell, whose warmth surely brightened the darkest of times.
Live performances such as these may become the norm for musicians, and she is careful to note that with April right around the corner, concerts are likely to be cancelled.
“There are no shows cancelled yet, but that’s likely to come soon. April is just around the corner,” she said. “I have had to postpone album recording, which was supposed to happen next week at Bathouse Studio.”
For many performers, whose profession revolves around being in public, the pandemic has drastically altered the nature of their work.
“The virus outbreak closing venues and forcing isolation and social distancing has changed my entire job currently, aside from writing music,” stated Fennell.
When asked what the role of performers is in times of trial and tribulation, she commented that it’s different for everyone, but for her the ability to connect with others, while possibly allaying their fears, was paramount.
“Performers are regular people. They have fears and concerns in times of trial just like everyone else. Although performing is my way of reaching out and hopefully not only helping my anxieties but others’ too. It’s not necessarily how other artists may choose to react,” she mused.
Fennell was also careful to note that many musicians live below the poverty line. Often, they are asked to offer their talents for various causes.
With many musicians having their income cut-off from the Coronavirus, Fennell stated now is the time to support the many musicians who have selflessly offered their talents in the past.
“I think its important to reflect on the fact that when crises happen of different types, often musicians are contacted to share their talents to help fundraise for events or benefits,” she said. “ Many musicians live below the poverty line but still give so much. Although my financial situation has improved over the years, my commitment to using my talents to help others has continued as a priority of mine.”
As far as any silver-lining may go, Fennell takes joy in her ability to provide comfort to others.
“Helping others feels good. If music is going to provide some comfort, I’m happy to be able to do that. I’ve met so many incredible people through my music and the online reach is never ending,” she said.
For more information about Miss Emily, or for any future live online performances, please visit:https://www.facebook.com/themissemilymusic/ .