In 2011 I offered to help the Organ Historical Society webcast one of recitals from their Washington, DC convention. It didn't happen because we couldn't find a venue that had an Internet connection. In 2012 I made the same offer to the OHS for their convention in Chicago, IL.
This time it clicked. The OHS proposed I produce a live webcast of the recital of Nathan Laube on the restored Skinner organ (Schantz Organ Builders) in Rockefeller Chapel. The Chapel is part of the University of Chicago (UC), and luckily for me and the OHS, it has a hard-wired broadband connection and a professional technical department that specializes in the production of live webcasts.
With the support of James Weaver from the OHS and Eric Fey from UChicago Creative, I worked to finalize an agreement on the production - making sure that this FIRST EVER WEBCAST by the OHS was a success. On the day, I arrived at the Chapel six hours before the recital to meet with Eric on the production and test the connections.
We worked for a couple of hours to position the microphones and the camera to get the best sound and visual. We tested the Internet connection to the University's web stream distribution point.
Later we were joined by the performer, Nathan Laube, one of America's rising stars. Nathan arrived on the very warm summer afternoon to practice for that evening's recital.
We double checked with him the arrangements for the microphones and camera, the position of the organ and make sure any of his concerns were addressed. He was great to deal with.
That evening the Chapel filled with some 500 OHS Convention attendees and a couple of hundred others. Jim Weaver introduced the performance and greeted both those in the room and those seeing the event live on the Internet. Nathan performed like the master he is and the crowd that was gathered in that space responded with thunderous applause. Listen to the end of the concert in the YouTube link below.
Externally, 507 people saw the performance - from 43 of the 50 US States, 4 Canadian provinces and 11 other countries around the world. And since that day, 9,942 people have seen the ondemand video below.
A big success, this production broke new ground in shifing perceptions about how we can increase outreach to the broadest possible audience using the Internet.