Violinists serenade shoppers in empty toilet paper aisle with ‘Titanic’ hymn

18 March 2020, 11:42 | Updated: 18 March 2020, 14:43

Violinists serenade shoppers in empty toilet paper aisle with ‘Titanic’ hymn
Violinists serenade shoppers in empty toilet paper aisle with ‘Titanic’ hymn. Picture: Bonnie von Duyke/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The two musicians hope their video will “give people hope and a laugh” in an uncertain and difficult time for many.

It’s an uncertain time for many across the globe, who are dealing with the deep impact of coronavirus. Musicians are seeing concerts cancelled and work disappear, and theatres and concert halls are feeling the financial blow of closing their doors at least for the next month.

These two violinists are hoping to bring some light relief in a tough period for many.

Dressed in lifejackets and tuxes, Bonnie Von Duyke and Emer Kinsella emulate the famous Titanic string quartet scene in the empty toilet paper aisle of their local supermarket.

“It really felt like we’re all on a sinking ship,” Von Duyke told the BBC. “Maybe we’ll give other people hope and a laugh where I feel like at this point, I’m about to cry.”

Click here for the NHS’s latest coronavirus advice >

“Many musicians and freelancers are losing work at this time,” Von Duyke added. “Concerts and events are being cancelled right and left. Being a freelance artist myself, I’m not giving up and I want viewers to be aware of my services during this social distancing time.”

Shoppers look on as the two violinists serenade the US grocery store with the 19th-century hymn ‘Nearer My God to Thee’.

Read more: No audiences, but concerts streamed to the world. This is a moment in history >

“I wasn’t expecting people to get the joke or get the comedy,” Kinsella said. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to come across that way because everybody’s been pretty on edge. And they did.”

She added: “It’s a scary time and we just wanted to bring comedic relief to that – and also highlight that we do need support for artists in the community.”

You can donate to Emer and Bonnie’s Patreon pages, to support them through this challenging time.

If you’re a musician affected by COVID-19, visit Help Musicians UK.