One of the first music-making casualties of the pandemic was group singing. After a chorus event in Washington state led to the deaths of two of its members last spring from COVID-19, it became evident that group singing was one of the most dangerous ways to transmit the virus. The American Choral Directors Association warned that group singing would not be safe until a vaccine became available, and in-person vocal groups at Indian Hill Music and throughout the country were put on pause.
Indian Hill Music family Bryce and Kathryn Denney of Marlborough sought a solution; and in the process discovered others like them who were experimenting with technology to make group singing safe again. For the past several months, the Denneys and a group of other inventive artists across the nation developed a way for groups to sing together safely inside their cars, using FM radio transmitters, microphones, and other technology, and have since hosted dozens of Driveway Choirs in multiple states.
The Driveway Choirs and the Denneys have received national exposure in The New York Times and Sunday Today with Willie Geist (video below), a testament to just how universally powerful — and missed — the group singing experience is.
On Saturday, December 12, families from our Youth Choruses congregated in the Indian Hill Music parking lot to sing once again safely with their beloved director Kathy McMinn and accompanist, school Class and Ensemble Manager Michael Havay, who conducted and played outdoors and safely distanced.
Youth Chorus member Stella and her dad (left) were among a dozen youth chorus families who participated in the driveway singalong.
The Denneys, who set up their high-tech gear, distributed sanitized microphones, and guided our young singers through the process, also recorded the event and sang with the chorus.
Sing along with the group in the video below!