During this crazy COVID-19 pandemic there are lots of feelings of isolation and loss. So many performers have been sidelined for months.

Professor David Newman from James Madison University talked recently on NPR about choir members commenting on the topic stating, "I saw on my Facebook feed was friends either bemoaning the fact that we couldn't sing together at all or saying singing together is too important and we just have to do it no matter what. And I thought neither of those is a good answer."

Prof. Newman came up with a solution that is catching on with choirs all over. It's “Physically Distant Drive-In" Choral Rehearsals.

With the help of a portable FM transmitter, mixer board, and some other modest tech choir members are able to gather in parking lots and perform together in the safety of their own cars. What a great idea!

As you can tell from this video by Luminous Voices the result is simply amazing!

If you'd like to make this happen for your group here are some steps and tips that Prof. Newman posted:

  • participants stayed in the cars in which they arrived for the duration of the rehearsal.
  • microphones were disinfected with a Clorox wipe before and after use.
  • cloth covers were secured over the handheld microphones and washed after use.
  • the equipment manager (me) washed hands before and after handling equipment.
  • the distance was maintained during all interactions, including the exchange of microphones.
  • use of headphones would allow car windows to be completely or almost completely rolled up
  • additionally, analog wireless headphones or wired headphones would reduce latency to almost zero.
  • use of a parking lot would allow better lines of sight (and less traffic!)
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