Who's doing it?
Quite a few groups have learned how to do tech-assisted rehearsals and performances. A small community has sprung up, of musical and technical people helping each other. This is not a complete list, but hopefully it will help you to find people who have similar interests or who can answer questions.
Maybe there is one in your area already, or maybe your group will be the first?
How to add yourself to this map? Go to this Google Maps page, search for the address where your group is based, choose "Add to Map", then click Edit or Photo to add more details. Barry Gabler set this up.
List of groups
Benjamin Bergey - Eastern Mennonite University Chamber Singers
Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
Getting started: After speaking with David Newman and others in this group, I procured equipment for us to be able to sing outside on campus for rehearsals and even concerts.
Audio system: I use 4 sets of GTD Audio 4x800 wireless microphones, hooked up into a Behringer 22 channel mixer. I can then have a few wired microphones and my electric keyboard hooked up as well. I then send the audio through two 1300W loud speakers so the singers can hear themselves outside (or if there’s a small audience). I also send the audio to my laptop to record in Logic, which works out way better than I would have expected even when there’s wind.
November 2020 update: We had two outdoor concerts, and plan to continue to rehearse outside next semester as weather allows (it’s a bit more forgiving in VA).
Location: Salem, Oregon, USA
March 2021 update: Last term (January-March) we had just one choir. Spring term (April-June) we hope to have two--one during the day (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-2:30) and one on Monday evenings (6:00-9:00pm). We had our first concert on March 18th--VERY successful concert of all Irish tunes--choir and solos with piano and violin.
Audio system: We are entirely wireless. We use a VocoPro A Cappella-16 set-up, a Zoom L-20 mixer and a Rolls FM Transmitter.
Contact: Kerry Burtis
News story on KOIN in Portland: Chemeketa’s parking lot car choir
Choir from Cars in Juneau, Alaska
Location: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Juneau, Alaska, USA
Getting started: Bruce Simonson started gathering equipment in October and launched the choir in January 2021. Bruce conducts from the sidewalk in front of the church. Inside, audio producer/volunteer Tim Fullam stands in a tangle of cables at a mixing board. It’s his job to mix the levels and record the performance.
Audio system: 4 Vocopro quad receivers, 4 Phenyx Pro quad receivers, Zoom LiveTrac L-20
Contact: Bruce Simonson
Video from local PBS station: ‘Apart but together,’ Juneau’s Choir from Cars gives singers a chance to perform again
Bryce and Kathryn Denney
Location: Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA
Getting started: After getting tired of virtual choirs and being muted on Zoom, we explored how to use audio equipment to sing from 4 rooms in our house, then 4 cars in our driveway. It was so much fun that we learned from David how to scale up to about 32 mics and take the equipment on the road, and we wrote everything down to help other groups do it too.
November 2020 update: We've worked with choirs of around 24 each week, and sometimes organize larger events such as the Brahms Requiem sing where additional singers can join too (who aren't on mic). You can find all our videos in the Events section.
Audio system: Usually 24 GTDAudio wireless mics, LiveTrac L-12 mixer, FM transmitter. Sometimes we add 8 wired mics and a Behringer x2222 mixer.
da Upper Yoopers' Barbershop+ Chorus
We are a wet-behind-the-ears group of people that became the first to charter as a mixed BHS chapter in Michigan. We Zoom regularly and CARbershop and CARol whenever possible. Come join in the fun! We're open for giving and receiving advice.
Location: Marquette, Michigan, USA
Getting started: We learned from the five BHS Zoom sessions on the subject. https://www.barbershop.org/the-drive-in-rehearsal-singing-safely-during-the-pandemic
March 2021 update: We learned the hard way to have a second FM frequency, so as to discuss mundane (or profane) things before going "public".
Audio system: 2x Phenyx PTU-7000(A and B) into a Behringer X1832USB into a CZE-7C transmitter with an external antenna.
Contact: Pete Stephens-Brown
See LA Times article: How an $8 part from Walmart makes it safe for choirs to sing again
Douglas Morrisson Theater Chorus
Twenty person subset of what is normally a 60 to 70 person community chorus. Normally we rehearse with our director weekly and give three auditorium performances a year. This year we're just glad to be able to sing together from our cars.
Location: Castro Valley and Hayward, California, USA
Getting started: It was suggested by a chorus member, I researched on the web and found the Bryce Denney connection (many thanks). Another tech minded singer and I put together the system (24 wireless mics), did a few test sings with 8 people, then got our director involved.
December 2020 update: We had 20 happy singers at our last rehearsal. Perhaps a drive-in concert later in December. Biggest challenge is finding a large enough parking lot. We're paying a church now and it's barely satisfactory for 20 cars.
Audio system: 6 GTD wireless mic sets, 8 channel mixer, 1 watt transmitter, distributed (consolidated) antenna system. Ref https://www.instructables.com/Battery-Powered-Parking-Lot-Chorus/
Contact: Dave Coleman & Bill DeVore
First United Methodist Church of Howell
Location: Michigan, USA
March 2021 update: Our chancel choir is using this technology to begin rehearsing.
Contact: Ellen Paige
Gold Standard Chorus
We're a mixed voice barbershop chorus that welcomes anyone who wants to sing.
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Getting started: We joined the webinars presented by BHS and got so excited. We convinced our chorus that we could sing this way, purchased equipment and got together and sang!
December 2020 update: Once the stay-at-home orders are lifted so we can get together again, we'll meet probably twice a month, still doing Zoom the other two weeks. Hoping to grow our chorus.
Audio system: Mackie DL32S mixer with an FM transmitter; wired mics for each chorus member.
Contact: Kathy Blackwood
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GSCSantaCruz
I’ve done driveway choirs with several groups including my choir, Voices of Harmony
Location: Boston area, Massachusetts, USA
Getting started: We learned about tech-assisted rehearsals originally from a FB group and then saw the Denney’s videos on YouTube. 5 minutes later I was ordering a FM transmitter online and within a few weeks we did our first test run with 4 people. From there, I’ve moved to 8 to 10 person rehearsals.
April 2021 update: The sweetest success is bringing the ability to sing harmony back to people who are starved for it. The biggest challenges are the radio transmitter and microphones intermittently glitching. I’ve used sugru to patch cracked microphone cables.
Audio system: 1 GTD audio 787 microphone set of 4; one ancient Mackie 16 (With three channels broken, so I call it a Mackie 13), 6 cheapo wired Pyle mics and 1 Schott FM transmitter on a long wooden dowel. I put equipment on 2 TV tables and weatherproof in mild inclement weather with big clear plastic bags. True inclement weather requires a change of venue to a parking garage. Mic cable junctures have on occasion been sealed with press and seal.
Contact: Sandi Gubin
Harbor City Chorus of Baltimore
We are the Barbershop Harmony Society chapter in Baltimore, MD. We're in our 77th continuous year of singing.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Getting started: I investigated many different ways of bringing our group back together to sing. Most of the suggested methods require a significant amount of technological expertise on the part of each participant. But, the current (wireless) method requires most participants to only have to be able to sing into a microphone and wear headphones. We started a "GoFundMe" page to pay for the equipment, and thus, we have been able to sing together for months now.
March 2021 update: Not one of us is a technical whiz! Just getting to be able to sing together is a tremendous step up from a Zoom rehearsal. We're still having some technical difficulties, and if the only person who knows how to run the rig can't make it, then the rehearsal gets cancelled. Next, I'd like to get some of the others to learn how to run the rig, so it doesn't all fall on me.
"Three Proreck UHF Handheld Wireless Microphone systems (UK4000) - each has 4 mics.
Twelve FM receiver headsets (most people listen through their car radios, so we don't use all of them)
A Soundcraft Notepad-8FX mixer
A Retekess FM transmitter
A Yaber camping generator
A RayHom AA 8-battery charger
24 AA RayHom rechargeable batteries
A Pyle PWMAB250 wireless speaker"
Contact: Ira S. Kroll
Land of the Sky Chorus
Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Contact: Beverly Greene
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Audio system: 16 GTDaudio wireless, Behringer mixer.
Location: Virginia, USA
David was the first to use wireless microphones and an FM transmitter to enable singing from cars. He facilitated rehearsals for groups in his area starting in May 2020. He documented it all on his blog, Setting up a realtime physically distant rehearsal. Many of us learned from his experiments and successes. See the driveway choir history for more.
Richmond Virginians Mixed Barbershop Chorus
Having stopped all live rehearsals in March of 2020, we continued on with keeping our Tuesday night "habit" intact with Zoom rehearsals. But last Fall, after seeing what Somerset Hills, and Christian Hunter had posted, we elected to move forward, and add the drive in rehearsals, in addition to the regular weekly Zoom calls. We have 70 chorus members who travel from Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, Fredericksburg, Farmville, and Petersburg area. We even have a few who actually live in Richmond!
Location: Midlothian, Virginia, USA
Getting started: We are very lucky to have a sound engineer in Mike Wallen, our director, so we relied on his expertise in putting all this together.
March 2021 update: We set up our VDR (Virginians Drive-in Rehearsals), every other week, either on a Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather, and how many of our chorus members (about half the entire chorus) sign up for that weekend. Works well! We are looking though, for a covered setting, covered parking area, so that weather isn't an issue.
Audio system: Mike Wallen uses a mixture of equipment that he owns, as well as what was purchased used. We use only wired mics, which were either loaned, donated, or purchased. Each singer pays $20, and gets a mic and a 25' mic cable to use, so there is no sharing of that equipment. We generally have anywhere from 18 to 24 who participate, so three snakes hooked to the mixers works well. We also have the advantage of a curved parking area, and set up the mixer and Mike's set up, in the middle of a field. So we don't have mic cables in the parking lot to be driven over.
Contact: Patrick D Stapleton
Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus
We are a chartered chorus of Sweet Adelines International, an organization dedicated to promoting the art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. Saratoga Soundtrack is a chorus who has fun while striving for musical excellence through education, accountability and integrity. We love to sing!
Location: Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Getting started: After seeing a webinar over the summer, our director, Jenn, started doing the research. We recently had a fundraiser to purchase equipment and had our first drive in March 14nd.
March 2021 update: We had our first rehearsal March 14, 2021. Chilly weather of upstate NY was a challenge but there was no way a little snow flurry would stop us from singing!
Audio system: Wireless VocoPro Digital Acapella 16, GTD Audio 787, borrowed mixer, Signstek Fm Transmitter
Contact: Jennifer Hunter
Video from the first rehearsal!
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
We’re a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society in Seattle. We’ve been holding Zoom rehearsals every Tuesday evening since last April. But now that’s changing!
Getting started: We learned about drive-in singing from the excellent BHS webinar series hosted by Somerset Hills Harmony. Last fall we started acquiring equipment, and a small team of guys started testing/troubleshooting. This activity took a pause during the winter months.
March 2021 update: We’ve just started holding regular twice monthly Tuesday evening rehearsals using a local commuter parking garage. We’ll still meet on Zoom the other Tuesdays. The garage was constructed for an expansion of light rail which won’t begin operation until September, so the garage is currently unused. In exchange for use of the garage, the chorus will perform as part of their Grand Opening. We have about 20 singers participating, and we’re exploring options for expanding our system.
Mackie 16 channel mixer, Samson, Phenyx, and VocoPro wireless mics, assorted wired mics, Retekess FM Transmitter, River EF1 Pro power pack.
Contact: Contact: Jim Durand, Chris Saether, seachordsmen.org
Somerset Hills Harmony
Location: New Jersey
Somerset Hills Harmony is an a cappella chorus in central/northern New Jersey. As they learned how to do drive-in rehearsals, they taught the world how to do it through a series of webinars: The Drive-In Rehearsal: Singing Safely During the Pandemic. They continue to help people through the public Facebook group Hot Rods & Harmony: Drive-In Rehearsals.
Contact: Christian Hunter, Rob France
Location: New Hampshire
Bill is a member of Vox Stars and North Country Chordsmen in New Hampshire. He built an all-wireless audio system for his groups and others in the area. He has written technical documentation on this site, and has helped several groups to choose equipment and get started.
He made this presentation in 2020: Socially distanced rehearsals using audio technology