Miss singing together?
Come sing Handel's Messiah with us!
Live with conductor, soloists, and piano accompaniment
Saturday December 19, 2020 at 2pm
In a parking lot in Bolton, Massachusetts (near exit 27 of Route 495)
From inside our cars
Hallelujah Chorus video
Charlie Comeau filmed the event using multiple cameras. Charlie and the Denneys produced this video of the Hallelujah chorus in this unique setting.
Complete audio recordings (63 minutes)
About the event
Opera On Tap Boston, Harvard-Radcliffe chorus, Cantata Singers, and Chorus Pro Musica are 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. Michael Pfitzer (the conductor) and 20-30 singers from the organizations above will have microphones, then any number of additional singers can listen to 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. Michael will lead a warmup, then we'll begin.
Singers should bring a Messiah score. Michael has prepared two versions of the score to choose from: Full Choral Score or Choruses Only. These PDFs include tempo markings, phrasing, and dynamics that we will use. Some people prefer 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. 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
The event is 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!
Michael Pfitzer, conductor
Bryce and Kathryn Denney, Driveway Choir
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.
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.
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 Messiah are we doing?
A: Michael has prepared two versions to choose from, and you can download/print either one. These PDF scores include the tempo markings, phrasing, and dynamics that we will use.
Driveway Choir Messiah (Full Choral Score).pdf - 128 pages, includes overture and solo pieces in addition to chorus parts
Driveway Choir Messiah (Choruses Only).pdf - 82 pages, only the parts that the chorus sings
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: Where is the nearest bathroom?
A: We don't have access to the office building nearby, so please plan ahead. We understand that no business in the town of Bolton has public bathrooms available, but these gas stations in neighboring towns do:
1. VERC Gulf Berlin, 139 Coolidge St, Berlin, MA 01503 (7 minute drive)
2. VERC Boxboro Gulf, 1425 Massachusetts Ave, Boxborough, MA 01719 (9 minute drive)
In a pinch, you can always drive away and come back.
Q: I have more questions!