Car Concerts Offer Choirs A Way To Rehearse And Perform This car choir solution is one that accomplished baritone David Newman came up with so that ensembles could sing "together." The method uses microphones, a mixer, an FM transmitter and car radios.
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Car Concerts Offer Choirs A Way To Rehearse And Perform

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Car Concerts Offer Choirs A Way To Rehearse And Perform

Car Concerts Offer Choirs A Way To Rehearse And Perform

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  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LUMINOUS VOICES: (Vocalizing).

TONYA MOSLEY, HOST:

These are the Luminous Voices. They're a professional choir in the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, and they're performing "The Road Home" by Stephen Paulus - from their cars.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LUMINOUS VOICES: (Singing) Tell me, where is the road I can call my own?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Tim Shantz is the choir's founder and conductor, and he says not singing together at the beginning of the pandemic was painful.

TIM SHANTZ: For us not to be able to do that, it's, like, a whole part of our soul is sort of taken out. And we need to find ways to somehow fill that gap.

MOSLEY: Enter David Newman, a music professor at James Madison University in Virginia, who wanted to come up with a way for choirs to rehearse together.

DAVID NEWMAN: All I saw on my Facebook feed was friends either bemoaning the fact that we couldn't sing together at all or saying singing together is too important, and we just have to do it no matter what. And I thought, neither of those is a good answer (laughter).

MOSLEY: So he tapped into a tool we love here at NPR - the car radio.

MARTIN: Choir members use microphones attached to a sound mixer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEATBOXING)

SHANTZ: All right. So it shows that there's a mic popping problem.

MARTIN: The mixer then feeds a cheap radio transmitter so the singers can hear their combined voices played back - with no lag - from their car radio speakers.

LUMINOUS VOICES: (Singing) Hail the new, ye lads and lasses. Fa la la, la la la, la la la...

MOSLEY: Now, choirs like the Luminous Voices are using their cars for drive-in performances, too.

LUMINOUS VOICES: (Singing) As I wake from a dream...

MOSLEY: And instead of clapping, the audience honks in applause.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORNS HONKING)

SHANTZ: Thank you. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORNS HONKING)

LUMINOUS VOICES: (Singing) From far away...

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