by Christian McCarville
Unfortunately for campus life at Rider, the coronavirus (COVID-19) caused a large number of cancellations and implications. However, on-campus organizations have adapted to these unforeseen circumstances in incredible ways.
One of the most notable examples of this is 107.7 The Bronc’s “Quarantunes.” “Quarantunes” is a 60-minute concert held virtually over Instagram live. It is designed exclusively for Rider students and viewers can interact with the performers and request songs.
The first edition of Quarantunes featured Sam James, a singer/songwriter who has been on both “The Voice” and “Songland”. The next episode of “Quarantunes” will take place on April 16 at 7 p.m. The episode will feature Devon Werkheiser, who many will recognize from Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified.”
107.7 The Bronc had an exciting event with Werkheiser planned for the second half of the spring semester. It was supposed to be a Q&A style event where students would have the opportunity to interact with Werkheiser and receive advice from him, similarly to how Ned Bigby would give advice in his school survival guide.
Junior TV, film and radio major Anthony Collesano is the head organizer for the Devon Werkheiser event. He explained the process of reaching out to Werkheiser and bringing him to Rider.
“I grew up watching Ned’s Declassified,” said Collesano. “When I saw an advertisement for Werkheiser’s Life Survival Guide, I took the opportunity to reach out to him. I honestly didn’t expect a response but he emailed me back the same day Drake Bell performed at Cranberry Fest.”
From there, Collesano and Werkheiser remained in contact to set up everything for the impending event.
Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, this event was unfortunately rescheduled and then postponed to the fall. Those still interested in attending can look forward to the rescheduled date of October 22.
While many recognize him for his role as Ned Bigby, some may not be aware of Werkheiser’s music career. He had released several EP’s and a full-length album in 2016 titled “Prologue.” Earlier in March, Werkheiser released two singles titled “Miles” and “Revolution.”
“My music means a lot to me,” said Werkheiser. “It is another major part of who I am, other than acting. It’s something that I need to do in my life. Whether you guys hear it or not, I will make music for the rest of my life.”
He went on to passionately explain the message of his music and the intended effect that he wants his art to have on listeners.
“It’s about bringing people something that feels good, something that they can get through a tough day with,” said Werkheiser. “Something that can leave you feeling inspired and uplifted. Something that connects you to your feelings.”
Werkheiser also mentioned an upcoming EP that he is starting to release, which will include his recent singles. He explained that the EP was entirely crowdfunded by his friends and fans. He also spoke about his incredible musical opportunity to open up for Seal on his latest tour.
“Last summer I got to open up for Seal who I had grown up my entire life listening to. They were the biggest shows of my life. Playing those shows was incredible getting to open for such a world-renowned artist who I love,” said Werkheiser.
With music being such an integral part of Werkheiser’s life, it is no surprise that he was asked to be a guest on 107.7 The Bronc’s “Quarantunes”. Viewers can expect Werkheiser’s original music along with some possible covers and fan requests.
Werkheiser’s “Quarantunes” performance will be held on 107.7 The Bronc’s Instagram page (@1077TheBronc). Those in attendance will be able to use Instagram live’s messaging feature to interact with him.
Werkheiser’s “Quarantunes” performance is a testament to how well Rider students have been adapting and making the most out of the constrictions of remote learning.
Collesano said, “This situation taught me to think on my feet and to be persistent with what I want to achieve.”
“I’ve become a stronger leader and a better planner as a result of this.”