The travel was greatly abbreviated and much less expensive. Depending on where you live, the housing was either a nice upgrade or a bit too normal, but free snacks were only a few steps away provided someone had gone to the grocery store recently. The Expo Hall was substantially quieter, and there were likely fewer impulse buys that required justification later, but once again we’ve all walked away with a list of music, mallets, sticks, and instruments that will be ordered soon! The “hangs” became chats or virtual meetings, which were certainly not the same, but thankfully we’ve all gotten much better at making the most of connecting with our colleagues remotely. For those like me who live in the warmer climates, shorts and a T-shirt replaced the usual heavy jacket and warm hat, and shoes were optional.
PASIC 202.0 was not the PASIC 2020 we planned for or could have even imagined a year ago, but the sentiment was quite consistent: these two days were designed to once again meet the standard that PASIC has established in being THE premier gathering of percussionists world-wide! The leadership and staff of PAS exceeded expectations in assembling a world-class lineup of clinics, concerts, discussions, and more, all delivered in a format that allowed us to truly attend, not just view, our convention.
By the time you read this article, many of you will have already logged back into the platform and viewed a couple of clinics you didn’t catch live. The PASIC 202.0 design allowed each of us to finally attend two clinics that were scheduled against each other or to re-watch a favorite session for a second, third, or fourth time perhaps. For those of you who haven’t done that yet, you’ve got just shy of four weeks left to do so!
The virtual format for PASIC also opened the door to even more people who traditionally couldn’t afford the time or cost of an in-person convention. Younger students who are virtually attending school could virtually attend PASIC years before they might have otherwise been able to be there in person. International audiences (and clinicians!) logged in from wherever they were without the need for a passport and saving countless hours of travel time. Even my family, who usually just gets a Sunday afternoon debrief of what I did and saw, gathered on the couch to visit the Kodo Village with me on Friday night, getting their first taste of the PASIC experience.
Was it ideal? Of course not, but then again, very little, if any, of this year has been ideal! Are we all eagerly anticipating PASIC 2021, back live in Indianapolis? Absolutely! In fact, we NEED to come back when we are able, to allow us all to connect face-to-face, to interact as a society, and to support each other in our varied percussion pursuits around the globe. Still, thanks to the efforts of many people behind the scenes, there were plenty of silver linings in the PASIC 202.0 experience and much to remember and motivate our continued growth as percussionists and as a percussion community.