In attempt to bring live music back to Stratford during the COVID-19 pandemic, Stratford musician Hannah Thomas has begun performing weekly, Sunday-evening concerts from her dock on the north shore of Lake Victoria beginning at 7 p.m. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

For local singer-songwriter Hannah Thomas, the last few months in isolation have been challenging.

Like most musicians, Thomas — a Stratford grade 11 student — has missed having the opportunity to play her music in-person for live audiences at events, competitions, and other gigs since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region back in March.

“I haven’t been able to perform for a while, and I missed it,” Thomas said. “My mom actually had the idea, and said it would be cool to do something from our back dock.”

Luckily for Thomas, her family’s home backs onto the north shore of Lake Victoria and includes a small dock at the rear of the property, across the north shore walking path from her family’s back gate.

“So I decided I was going to do a little concert there every Sunday night,” she said. “Hopefully it brings some happiness to everyone because it’s kind of hard right now with everything that’s going on.”

A regular at regional, provincial, national, and even international country music competitions, and in the midst of producing a new song and accompanying music video, as well as recording a Christmas album with friend, mentor and fellow musician Dayna Manning, Thomas performs a mix of covers and original songs beginning at 7 p.m. every Sunday, which are amplified by the river and can be heard by anyone in the vicinity.

“I’ve just done one concert so far,” Thomas said Saturday, before her second concert Sunday evening. “It went really well. A good amount of people showed up, so I’m hoping I can keep growing (the audience) over the course of a couple weeks. And they’re closing down (Lakeside Drive) on weekends now, so if people can social distance, like spread themselves out and watch, that would be amazing.”

According to Thomas, even Manning herself, who lives across the river a fair distance away, said she had been able to clearly hear Thomas’ first performance from her backyard.

“It feels really good just to be singing in front of people again,” Thomas said. “I see the looks on their faces and everyone’s been kind of been walking around in a fog, and they’re not really paying attention to much. And then, they hear someone singing and it might make them really happy.”

In addition to listening to Thomas from a safe distance around Lake Victoria every Sunday night, those interested in hearing more from the Stratford singer-songwriter can visit the Hannah Thomas Music Facebook page or search HannahThomas.Music on Instagram.

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