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Leon Bibb Reports: Social distancing Shakerfest brings community together

Shaker Heights students head outside to play and sing Mighty Raiders song for concert.

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Coronavirus sings so sorrowful a song, its lyrics have brought on the blues. That makes us look for uplifting tunes to chase away the tough times.  

Shaker Heights schools music teachers agreed and promoted a community-wide concert where residents play albeit socially-distant.  For many days, musicians have practiced for the May 1st Shakerfest concert.  

Concert day. After all, that practice musicians and singers stretched out. They push out pandemic blues to usher in a Shaker serenade. 

We met up with a family band, the Dina's, where the parents were music teachers, showing the kids the route to the rhythms. During these times we need this kind of inspiration. The Dina family brass ensemble rocks with the Shaker Heights High School fight song. 

Dad and mom, Eric and Becki Dina, have found life in their brass horns. They applaud the Shakerfest concert because it is about making a joyful sound where ever you are.

"It brings the performers together, though they are not necessarily playing next to each other, " Eric Dina said.

"Everybody plays something at the same time in front of their houses that brings a sense of community and solidarity," added Becki Dina.

Throughout the community melody makers, as hip musicians say, show their chops. From the streets to the rooftops there is music. Troubadours on the doorsteps composing sidewalk symphonies.

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This is a story about music, but really more than music. It's a story about the uplifting of a community with a melodic sound. Music produces a pleasure which human nature cannot do without. That's a melody to remember. 

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A concert conducted by all the players. The Shaker Heights performance brings to mind a music lesson. Although we are separate, we can perform together because really, we all play a part.