For years, Abe Dewing tried to find a way to combine two of his passions -- sports and classical music.
It seemed he was caught in a space in the middle of two worlds he desperately wanted to merge. His friends who loved classical music weren't necessarily following his beloved Patriots, and his friends who watched football every Sunday weren't necessarily listening to Mozart in their free time.
But in a year that's made performing live music for an audience almost impossible, Dewing cracked the code.
Dewing is a professional violinist, and in lieu of concerts and practice with his bandmates, he has spent every week of the football season covering NFL broadcast themes and songs associated with Patriots Nation. He is a one-man violin quartet, covering the Monday Night Football theme, "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne, "Song 2" by Blur and "This Is Our House" by Bon Jovi.
After seeing another artist find her groove covering cartoon theme songs on Twitter, Dewing thought he could find his niche there too.
"I made my first video. It was the theme to NFL on Fox and I timed it for Week 1 of the NFL season. I think that would be a fun thing to do, like hey football is back. It's wonderful even though it's different now than we know it. I thought it'd be fun to share it," he said. "It was really fun. All of a sudden people started replying and started following me and sharing it and replying to it. I was shocked."
Soon enough, he was making a video for every week. Using an app, Dewing records himself playing four different parts to create one final product. He arranges the pieces himself, often replaying highlights on YouTube over and over again to get every note of a theme or jingle played over a clip.
As a full-time musician, Dewing formed his band Fusion String Ensemble, and while on tour in Chicago a few years back, they played "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" as an encore. The audience loved it, and Dewing thought they could pull off his dream -- a full concert of sports music.
Then last year, they tested out this idea at a show in Jamaica Plain.
"The only people who clapped were the people who knew me and knew what we wanted to do," he said. "I was like oh my gosh. I guess it's a really, really small audience live."
Though he may have felt alone before, Dewing has now found a community on Twitter who appreciates his crossover covers.
"It's wonderful because they keep me going. There are times when I'm so busy and I'm like I can't do this. It's already Sunday, and I don't have anything I can't," Dewing said. "I open up Twitter and I read a lot of the comments and it's just amazing. I have to. It's my responsibility to these people. They took the time out to say really nice things, and I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure I continue doing this just for fun."
While classical music and sports may not seem like a natural pair on the surface, when done correctly, they can amplify one another. As the Patriots exit the locker room and walk down the tunnel during home games, "O Fortuna" blasts throughout Gillette Stadium.
It builds and builds before the team takes the field, and this is exactly why Dewing feels so passionately about it.
"It really adds to the drama. That's what we love about sports and how the highs are highs and the lows are lows, but you can't get too high and you can't get too low. Anything can happen. That's kind of how life is. You shouldn't be so sad. Anything can happen. Good things happen too," he said. "I think that's why we gravitate towards all of that. It's a pretty neat thing."
You can follow along as Dewing makes his way through the season on Twitter @LearnedbyDewing.