Miss singing together?

Come sing the Brahms Requiem with us!

Live with conductor, soloists, and piano accompaniment

Sunday January 17, 2020 at 2pm

In a parking lot in Worcester, MA

From inside our cars

News coverage

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette published this article

Worcester Chorus hits right notes with Driveway Choir project

Video from the event

About the event

Worcester Chorus is teaming up with the Driveway Choir to sing together safely. Choirs cannot sing together indoors in 2020, so here's how we do it with no latency, and without exchanging germs. Singers use wireless microphones from inside their cars, we use an audio mixer to combine their voices into a choir sound, and we broadcast it on a low-power FM radio station so that everyone can hear. Chris Shepard (the conductor) and 20-30 singers from the organizations above will have microphones, then any number of additional singers can listen to the music on the radio and sing along too.

When you arrive, a parking attendant will help you find a parking spot and let you know which radio station to tune to. We orient the cars so that you can see the conductor. You'll hear music and instructions through your radio. Chris will lead a warmup, then we'll begin.

Singers should bring a Brahms Requiem vocal score. If you need one, here is a PDF.

Some people prefer to print out a paper copy, others prefer to read from a tablet or laptop. You will also need a mask, drinking water, and clothes for a variety of weather. Some of our cold-weather participants have used sleeping bags and baked potatoes to stay toasty warm. You can optionally bring a portable radio or boombox, and headphones.

Please be aware that the event may be filmed or photographed by the organizers or the media.

Learn more about these organizations at Worcester Chorus and Driveway Choir.

The event may be limited in size due to state and local COVID restrictions. Please register at the link above. If we reach the limit, we will start a waiting list. We will email you either way, within a few days of registration.

We look forward to making beautiful live music with you!

Chris Shepard, Worcester Chorus Artistic Director
Mark Mummert, Assistant Director and Accompanist
Bryce and Kathryn Denney, Driveway Choir

Suggested Donation

This event is free. If you are able, we ask you to please contribute to the Worcester Children’s Chorus on their donation page.

Safety rules

We take safety very seriously, both for your health and ours, and so that we are allowed to organize future events that bring musicians together in person.

Safety rules:

  • The health of every participant is our top priority.

  • If you or others in your family/bubble have experienced flu-like symptoms or have tested positive for COVID in the last 14 days, do not attend the event.

  • While singing, everyone must be inside cars with the windows closed. The only exceptions are the conductor, pianist, event organizers, and photographer.

  • Participants must stay in their cars, except when event organizers announce that it is okay. We will take a break to stand up and stretch, for example.

  • Anyone outside of a car must wear a mask and stay 6+ feet from anyone who is not in their family/bubble. The conductor or event organizer may remove his/her mask during rehearsal, when very far from everyone else, so he/she can be heard clearly.

  • Please dress for the weather. You will be sitting in a car for over an hour, no matter the temperature. If it's sunny, the inside of your car may get hot even if the outside is cold. If it's cloudy, you can be prepared with two pairs of socks, a down sleeping bag, warm blankets/comforters, a hot beverage, a baked potato, a hat and gloves.

Thank you for your help in making this a safe and successful experience.

Questions and Answers

Q: What safety protocols do you follow?

A: We disinfect the microphones with Clorox wipes and wash the foam windscreens between events. We use hand sanitizer and gloves when distributing and collecting microphones. We require everyone to agree to the safety rules above, in order to participate.

Q: Where can I find the music? Which parts of the Brahms Requiem are we doing?

A: Above, you can find a link to download/print. Many singers find that using a device that can display a pdf saves paper. Singers may also bring their own score, as long as the measures are numbered.

Q: I don't have a car. Can I sing too?

A: No, we're sorry. Because of the scale of this particular event, we can only accommodate singers in cars for safety reasons.

Q: What's the actual address of the event?

A: We will email the exact address of the event, and other details, to participants after they register.

Q: Will I have a microphone?

A: We have a limited number of microphones and channels on the mixer. We will assign mics to soloists and members of the sponsoring organizations first, then to other participants if possible. We also need to balance out the voice parts.

Q: Should the car windows be open or closed?

A: Car windows need to remain closed during singing.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask inside my car?

A: As long as the windows are closed, you don't need to wear a mask inside the car.

Q: Can I get out of the car and sing outside?

A: No, everyone needs to stay inside their car while singing.

Q: Can we have several singers in the same car?

A: Yes, people in the same family/bubble may sing in the same car. We'll give each singer a microphone (until they run out).

Q: Why would I bring a portable radio, if my car already has a radio?

A: With a portable radio, there is no risk that your car radio will drain the car battery. Also, some people prefer using headphones plugged into a radio, to hear the choir sound more clearly than speakers. Also, some cars automatically turn the radio off every 15 minutes. Also, some higher-end car radios introduce delay that makes it very hard to stay in sync with the group.

Q: Should I leave my car on/off?

A: Please turn your car engine and lights off. Most cars have an "accessories" mode which allows the radio to be used and does not use much battery power. Please don't run the engine running during the event, so that you and others don't have to breathe in the fumes.

Q: I have more questions!

A: Please email with any additional questions.