Singing in a chorus during a pandemic, seriously? Somerset Hills Harmony has adopted a safe approach to singing and want to sing with YOU! For reals! Picture this - a parking lot, a sea of singers in cars with radios tuned to the same FM channel, singers have microphones that join together at a sound booth that projects the sound over FM, and WITH a live director. The joy of live singing with new friends in the comfort and safety of your car! OPEN SING EVENTS ARE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH at 3pm and SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st at 9:30am.Feel free to attend one or both events! Send any questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Safely raise your voice with an incredible mixed-voice a cappella chorus in just for the pure fun of it!
Choirs were locked down due to the pandemic, just like many other enjoyable activities. Perhaps you are in a chorus that is meeting online, such as on Zoom. Yeah, that was us too. And then we figured out the “drive-in rehearsal” where singers can safely sing and truly make wonderful music together all while under direction. Our souls seemed restored and one small slice of “normal” has meant the world to each singer. We call it “Hot Rods and Harmony” and have been safely singing together for over two months. Now we want to share the incredible feeling of your voice blending with others with YOU!
No audience. No performance anxiety. No auditions. Fun songs. You can even just sing along in your car! Just singing, pure and simple. Want to see what a drive-in singing event is like?
Click here for a short video we put together this past August: Introduction to Hot Rods and HarmonyOr read all about it with SHH’s mention in this New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/07/arts/music/coronavirus-choir.html
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is an Open Sing like? One of our leaders will meet you when you arrive to check you in. They will check to see if you completed the online health-screening questionnaire in advance (you’ll get the link once you pre-register) and check your temperature with a contact-less thermometer. They may give you a number to place on your windshield which represents your “channel” for our sound team.
You’ll be directed to a place to park where you will have a clear view of the director. Then tune your radio to the designated channel (usually 95.3). If you have a microphone (see below) we will get you wired in and do a quick, private, mic check to make sure your voice can be heard. Once everyone is wired up and ready, we will warm-up our voices and then dive into some exhilarating singing. Do I Need Experience Singing in a Choir? Nah! You will be side by side with experienced a cappella singers and newbies alike. There are no auditions and no requirements that you have prior singing experience or that you can read sheet music. While these are great, they are not a prerequisite. We will give you the tools, and confidence, to succeed.
What safety precautions can I expect in light of the pandemic? Safety trumps singing. By leading with safety, we can ensure the ability to keep our family healthy and singing into the future.
We require all attendees, singing or observing, to complete an online health pre-screening questionnaire, which is similar to those you may have completed at health offices, schools and office buildings.
Anyone that is not feeling well is asked to please stay home.
Singers are required to stay in their car when singing (with an exception for our directors) and to keep car windows closed most of the way.
An indoor bathroom is available but limited to one person at a time.
Masks are required anytime you are outside of your car and social distancing must be respected and maintained.
Do I need to bring my own microphone? Singers can be “in the sound” by using a wired, handheld microphone. If you have your own microphone that can receive a 3-prong XLR connector, fantastic, bring it along! No mic, no problem! We have many that will be lent to attendees (after being sanitized) and provided on a first come first served basis. Even if you do not have a mic, you can absolutely have a blast singing in your car! You will be able to hear the chorus through your radio in your car, so sing your heart out! Oh, and more than one singer can be in a car! Is there anything else I should bring? The FM radio in some cars have a little delay. The delay can present challenges to group singing. We recommend that singers use a portable FM radio and headphones if they have them available to bring. (Some Subaru and Lexus models seem to be cars with delays.) You can use the FM radio in the car; however, we may ask that you not use a microphone if there is a delay. Make sure you have plenty of water to keep you hydrated and even possibly a window sun visor to help with glare. Will I get sheet music and learning materials? Yes, for most songs. We have sheet music for all of the songs we will sing, though some may be sung in a different key than written (don’t worry if you have no idea what that last part means.) We also have “learning tracks” for most songs – recordings of an expert singer singing your chosen voice part separately from the other voice parts. You are welcome to sing any voice part that you are comfortable singing for each song. We will not be providing copies of music at the rehearsal due to our pursuit of a contactless environment.
Anything else I should know?
Car batteries aren’t immortal. If you are using your car radio, be sure to have your key turned only to “accessory” so you don’t run your battery down. Start your car occasionally to charge it up.
NJ has idling laws that limit a car running while idle for up to 3 minutes. SHH will not be held responsible for attendees that choose to run their engines for more than 3 minutes (such as to maintain a comfortable temperature).
Could I Sing in Public too? Sure! Somerset Hills Harmony will be will be performing these songs from their cars at a community tree lighting at the same site as the Open Sings, on December 5th. We may be adding in a fun holiday element that very well may be a world first – stay tuned! We look forward to singing with you no matter how far you decide to continue!
We meet at the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church, 279 Routes 202-206 Pluckemin, NJ (though we are not affiliated with the Church). Somerset Hills Harmony, a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society and member of the Contemporary A Cappella League.