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   At the time of the writing of this article, the 2016 National Quartet Convention wrapped up three days ago. Because I am a gospel song writer and because we love Southern gospel music, my husband, Paul, and I go to NQC as often as we can, which, sadly, is not very often. Since we live in Canada, our last trip to NQC, which was in 2013 when it was in Louisville, Kentucky, cost us over $5000 Canadian plus a pile of Air Miles. We are not wealthy, so we will have to save for a few years before our next attendance. This being the case, we opt for streaming the NQC live on years when we

cannot attend. The live feed cost $64.99 US or $86.31 Canadian. You can see the economic advantage. So we don’t have to huddle around a computer screen, Paul, connects the computer to our TV. We can sit back and enjoy the concerts. Viewing the event from the comfort of your own couch has some definite advantages and disadvantages.

   One obvious advantage of the live stream is we are spared travel distance, time and hassle. My husband and I like to travel and we travel well together, so these we don’t mind too much.
   Another pro of viewing the concerts from one’s comfy, reclining sofa is you have the best seat in the house every night. You can curl up in your PJs if you wish. No one’s head is in your way, if you are short like I am. Your neighbor’s aren’t talking through your favorite artist’s performance. Any time you wish, without having to step on the toes of dozens of strangers, you can get up and have a snack for which you won’t have to pay through the nose.
   I have to admit I found that aspect of it had both pros and cons. At home we tend to eat healthier than when we are travelling. Having said that, we very much enjoy experiencing new foods when we travel. We discovered Hot Browns at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. We enjoyed the feast at the Joe Huber Family Farm in Indiana. Live streams don’t come with tickets to such things. At the food court in the exhibit hall at the Louisville NQCs, we savored deep-fried Snickers bars and poked a deep-fried biscuit wondering what it was until some laughing neighbors at the table identified it for us. Even a bowl of my favorite ice cream on the couch at home pales in comparison to these experiences.

   With the live feed, when you are tired, you can simply go to bed. You don’t have to wait for trolleys to return you to your hotel. If you have the stamina to make it to the end of the concert, you don’t have that inevitable traffic jam as everyone tries to get out of the parking lot at once.
   As gospel song writers, my husband and I found the live streaming very useful to keep us more up-to-date on the groups. We were able to see if, in the past year, groups had any personnel changes of which we were unaware. By listening to the songs they sang, we were able to ascertain if the group had a new project released. If they were singing only songs we had heard before, chances are good they will have a project up-coming. If they have had significant personnel changes, chances are good a new CD is not far in the offing.

   Another definite advantage of purchasing the live feed is that it is made available after the Convention is over. It can be viewed on-line until the end of the current year. This is especially helpful because of some of the drawbacks of having the live feed as opposed to attending NQC in person. One such drawback is that when you are at home, life interrupts your viewing time. When you are there, the whole week is about the event. At home, things like mid-week Bible Study and Prayer Meeting, the dog needing to be walked and so on may take precedence over your evening of viewing.


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