See what it's all about!
We hope you enjoy these videos of choirs finding a way to sing together safely.
(Apr 2, 2021: Pluckemin Choir and SHH) The Easter Hymn Project
Somerset Hills Harmony partners with Pluckemin Presbytarian Church Choir to release "Easter Hymn Project."
As the first significant church holiday to be affected by the pandemic for a second year, this year’s Easter services faced the real prospect of missing the celebrated sound of a choir. Somerset Hills Harmony has built on it’s successful Christmas Hymn Project of 2020 to share recordings of several traditional hymns for Easter services. The chorus teamed up with the choir from Pluckemin Presbyterian Church in the church parking lot to record their voices in a rather unique setting – their personal cars. The safe environs of the mobile studios provided a perfect solution to the risk of superspreading choir singing as the positive COVID-19 cases continue to mount in New Jersey.
Please enjoy the Easter hymns.
(Mar 6, 2021: Denneys) The Pirates of Penzance with the Sudbury Savoyards
The Sudbury Savoyards and Driveway Choir collaborated on March 6, 2021 in a parking lot in Sudbury, MA. Pianists Pat Bentley and Bryce Denney took turns playing the orchestral reduction from the inside of a UHaul, and 57 singers came to blend their voices through an FM transmitter to the inside of their cars. Kathryn Denney conducted, and our soloists acted like Kings and Wards of Chancery and Major Generals.
(Feb 14, 2021: Denneys) Open Door Theater with the Denney family
Open Door Theater of Acton, MA, gathered safely in cars on Valentines Day 2021 to make music together with the Denney Family.
(Jan 17, 2021: Denneys) Brahms Requiem with Worcester Chorus
Sing the Brahms Requiem with us in Worcester, MA! Live with conductor, professional soloists, and piano accompaniment.
Worcester Chorus is teamed up with the Denney's Driveway Choir for this free public event. The Worcester Telegram and Gazette published this article: Worcester Chorus hits right notes with Driveway Choir project.
(Jan 9, 2021: Denneys) Theatre III Broadway Favorites!
Miss singing in a chorus together? Come sing some of your favorite choruses from Broadway! You will have the chance to join your voice with others from the safety of your car, and hear the beautiful blend from your car radio. Theatre III is teaming up with Driveway Choir for their winter fundraiser!
(Dec 19, 2020: Denneys) Messiah Sing
Miss singing in a chorus together? Come sing Handel's Messiah with us in Boxborough, MA! Live with conductor, professional soloists, and piano accompaniment.
Opera On Tap Boston, Harvard-Radcliffe chorus, Cantata Singers, and Chorus Pro Musica teamed up with the Denney's Driveway Choir for this free public event. Boston WBZ TV Channel 4 came and did a short news segment that evening.
(Dec 7, 2020: SHH) Christmas Hymn Project
Somerset Hills Harmony, in partnership with The Pluckemin Presbyterian Church Choir, presents a Christmas concert recorded live in a 100% safe, socially distanced environment. This is our gift to people who are missing live music this holiday season.
(Dec 5, 2020: Somerset Hills) Community Tree Lighting and Car Caroling
Pluckemin Presbyterian Church and Somerset Hills Harmony hosted a safe Christmas tree lighting concert. 90 cars full of couples and families plus 34 performers attended (200-300 people in total)
See the Facebook Live stream. The show starts at minute 40.
We helped the Nashoba Valley Chorale to sing the Fauré Requiem in a giant parking lot in Boxborough, MA. 100 people registered online to attend in 76 cars. Of those, 32 people had microphones, and everyone else sang along from their cars (or just listened).
(Nov 8, 2020: Denneys) Two Church Choirs
We worked with two church choirs on a surprisingly warm and beautiful fall day at St. Agatha's Parish in Milton, MA. Julie Fay directed the St. Agatha's Parish choir. Later, Suzie Cartreine directed the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills choir. Bryce and Kathryn both played the piano and sang part of the time. Julie and Suzie plan to use some of these recordings in future church services.
(Nov 6, 2020: Benjamin Bergey) Chamber Singers Outdoor Concert
EMU Chamber Singers had the opportunity to sing for a live audience, for the first time this semester. The outdoor concert on November 6, used the same set-up that the choir has been using all semester to record music, including masks, distancing, and amplification. At the concert, director Dr. Benjamin Bergey said, "These wonderful students have been very flexible and brave in trying this out so we can still make music together safely."
Click to open the public Facebook page where you can hear the whole concert.
We teamed up with Chorus Pro Musica and invited members of other choruses to sing the Brahms Requiem together! Around 50 people came to a parking lot in Newton, MA, and sang (from inside our cars) under the direction of Jamie Kirsch, with professional pianist and soloists. This was filmed by the TODAY Show and broadcast on November 22.
(Oct 20, 2020: Denneys) Golden Tones Rehearsal
We facilitated a rehearsal for a local group called the Golden Tones. Now in their 32nd season, Golden Tones chorus is a group of almost 70 retired (but young-at-heart) people who love to sing and dance. Please visit their web page that documents the experience.
(Oct 8, 2020) Luminous Voices Car Choir #1 concert
Stephen Paulus - The Road Home
Caleb Nelson, soloist and audio engineer
October 4, 2020
LV Car Choir #1, Max Bell Centre in Calgary, Alberta
Follow Luminous Voices on Facebook
(Oct 3, 2020: Denneys) Friends and family sing at a church in Concord, MA
We invited friends and family to the Trinitarian Congregation Church in Concord, MA and sang through a variety of beautiful pieces.
The video contains You'll Never Walk Alone, Sunrise Sunset, Carrickfergus, and selections from Les Misérables (arranged by Ed Lojeski). We hope you enjoy!
When you see several people in the same car, that's because they are in the same family/bubble.
(Sep 13, 2020: Denneys) Rehearsal for the First Unitarian/Universalist Society in Newton, MA
On September 13, 2020, we facilitated a rehearsal for 25 choir members from First Unitarian/Universalist Society in Newton, conducted by Anne Watson Born. Please enjoy the recordings in the video above.
(Aug 29, 2020: Denneys) Driveway Choir gets an antenna upgrade
To improve our wireless microphone performance and to allow the Driveway Choir to sing in bad weather, we've worked with two audio/radio experts on an antenna upgrade. Thank you to Jan Helbers and Kem Stewart for their contributions. In this video, we test it out and explain how it works. Bryce also shows how to use an RF Explorer portable spectrum analyzer to understand what your mics and FM transmitter are doing.
If you want to make your own antenna unit, we've documented it in the Technical Details page.
(Aug 6, 2020: Denneys) On the road for the first time
On August 6, the Denneys finally got organized enough to take their audio system on the road for the first time. We facilitated a rehearsal for members of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Lincoln, MA. Jay Lane conducted, and played piano and organ. After warming up, we practiced and then recorded a few pieces. Jay used one of them for the online church service that week.
(July 31, 2020: SHH) Somerset Hills Harmony does its first test run
(Jul 29, 2020: Denneys) Eighteen singers, an oboe, piano and conductor
This event included 18 singers on wireless microphones, Bryce's sister on oboe, piano, and conductor. The audio system was basically "System#1" described in our instructions, with some extra mics. The previous video from July 20 shows the construction of the rack.
This video is music-only after the first 2 minutes. We have different singers each time--whoever is available and interested in the area. We rehearse each piece a few times and then run all the way through it. We make an audio recording of the whole event and extract the best parts afterward.
Musical selections include: Song of the Mira, Parenting in the Internet Age (from Connected) , You are the new day, The Silver Swan, Try We Lifelong (from The Gondoliers), and Happy the Lily (from Ruddigore)
(July 20, 2020: Denneys) Building Racks
We were gearing up to take the Driveway Choir on the road. But first, we needed to make it much easier to transport and set up. This shows how Bryce built racks for a large-mixer system and a small-mixer system out of 1x3 and 1x2 pine boards.
The small mixer system is based on David Newman's system, which was called "System #1" in the documents.
(July 2, 2020: Denneys) Driveway Choir: It's growing!
The Denneys met David Newman in June and began collaborating. We started learning about wireless mics and FM transmitters from him, because it scaled better than the headsets we started with.
The Denneys did their largest Driveway Choir to date on July 2, with 17 singers and a conductor. We used a mix of wired and wireless microphones and a donated Mackie SR24 mixer to combine our voices together, and an FM transmitter to send the mixed choir sound to people's car radios so that they could hear each other live. This time we accompanied the singers on an electric piano as well.
During this time, Bryce was busily writing Audio systems to enable physically distant singing, which describes a few possible audio systems that can work for this sort of event, and a lot of things that we've learned that work (and don't work).
For complete recordings of the event (the sound that the singers heard through their car radios), go here.
(June 20, 2020: Denneys) Singing safely in different ways + Joyful Joyful
(July 11, 2020) Good Company - A Capella - Live drive-in concert
July 11th @ 4pm @ Eastern Mennonite School's Upper/Auditorium Lot
- Enter via the Upper/Auditorium lot
- Remain in your vehicle
- Tune in to our FM station
- Enjoy a 45 minute concert from the comfort of your vehicle!
Click to open the Facebook page to hear the concert.
(June 11, 2020: David Newman) Car Tunes #3 Harmonia Sacra
This is the third and largest of the physically distant Car-Sings that I've facilitated. Ten singers gathered from a local Harmonia Sacra group to read through tunes for an hour. For most of the session, I joined as an 11th singer, but for this one, I stepped out of the car to record video.
(May 27, 2020: Denneys) The Denneys first "Driveway Choir"
After purchasing some audio equipment and learning how to use it, we invited four singers from Labyrinth Choir over to try it on May 27, 2020. Four singers used a Nubwo gaming headset that was wired to a 4-channel mixer, and sang together live from inside their cars.
(May 17, 2020: David Newman) Physically distant "drive-in" ensemble rehearsal
For the first experiment, I used equipment I had on hand for a hastily assembled “rehearsal.” Four singers arrived in three cars, and I gave each of them a wireless microphone. I ran the output from the wireless mic receiver into my mixing board, and then sent the sound back to the singers through an amplified speaker. It wasn’t ideal, but it did allow us to have a coordinated, safe, rehearsal process.