"The Drive To Sing" is really something you must experience to understand. It's inspiring to watch, and an important part of our history preserved.
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"So many happy tears!"
- Choir Leader in Michigan
“They focused on what is most important: that music, especially made together,
is a fundamental force in our lives that brings us joy in so many ways.”
- Choir Member in Massachusetts
“What a moving piece! So many emotions I am trying to reconcile.”
- Choir Leader in New Jersey
See more reviews on our IMDB page, and please give us a rating if you have seen it!
Watch the Film
May 25 in Clinton, NJ
May 26 in Annandale, VA
May 31 in Asheville, NC
June 2 in Baltimore, MD
June 3 in Pluckemin, NJ
June 4 in Philadelphia, PA
To schedule a screening near you, see this page: Show the Film!
Enjoy this uplifting documentary about the importance of making music together. Through the unique lens of pandemic "car choirs", the film follows the story of choirs finding a way to sing safely during the pandemic and showcases beautiful choral music recorded in very unusual places. Featuring choruses in Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Alberta, this inspirational film won 7 awards at film festivals in 2022. It is family-friendly and resonates with anyone who has sung in a choir.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced musical activities to shut down in March 2020, singers searched for ways to stay connected when they could not be in the same room together. Online solutions such as Zoom helped groups socially, but did not allow a choir to rehearse and perform together. Several tech-savvy musicians turned to old-school audio technology to organize parking lot choirs, with each singer safely isolated in their own car. The idea spread through social media across the US and Canada, and reached the attention of the New York Times, the Today Show, and NPR. "The Drive to Sing" is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of parking lot choirs, the cast of characters who worked together to develop and refine it, and the choruses who kept their musical communities active during this time of fear and isolation.
Musicians Bryce and Kathryn Denney were among the first to try a choir in cars. They started with four singers in their driveway, so they called it a "driveway choir." Through online collaborations, they teamed up with David Newman and others who refined the idea and taught the world how to do it. During the pandemic, the Denneys traveled all around Massachusetts, helping many choirs to sing together using audio technology, at a time when it was unsafe for choirs to sing in person any other way. As pandemic restrictions eased, they began interviewing musicians, filming choirs in action, and asking for footage. In May 2021, they began work with Boston-area filmmaker Justin Lahue. After filming in summer 2021 and post-production in the fall, "The Drive to Sing" was completed in December 2021. It runs 76 minutes.
Director: Bryce Denney
Producer: Kathryn Denney
Associate Producer: Justin Lahue
Narrator: Russell J. Gannon
Tell me more
The drivewaychoir.org website links to performance videos and news articles from all the groups mentioned in the documentary, and many other groups as well.
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Cantemus Chamber Choir sings in a driveway choir organized by Bryce and Kathryn Denney at the Topsfield Fairground in April 2021. Drone footage by Brad Sweet.
David Newman conducts the first choir in cars in May 2020 in Virginia. He published instructions on his website to teach everyone how to do it.
Christian and Tracey Hunter sing in their car during a Somerset Hills Harmony rehearsal in New Jersey
Kathryn Denney conducts and Bryce Denney plays piano during a parking lot choir in October 2020
The Denneys organized a Messiah Sing in a parking lot in December 2020. It was cold enough that they rented a truck and used a propane heater to keep the pianist warm.
The Golden Tones gathered to sing their favorite tunes in October 2020 in a parking lot in Sudbury. See photos from their event.
Don and Chris Staffin sing from their car during a Somerset Hills Harmony rehearsal in Fall 2020 in New Jersey
Jamie Kirsch conducts Chorus Pro Musica in a parking lot in Newton, Massachusetts. Photo: Axie Breen
The Today Show interviews Jamie Kirsch after the Brahms Requiem in October 2020. See their segment "This choir sings in harmony from their cars to keep everyone safe." Photo: Axie Breen
Timothy Shantz conducts Luminous Voices, a professional choir in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in a parking lot concert. Photo: Leah Hennel
East Coast Sound performed during an outdoor concert in June 2021, after rehearsing in cars in the spring
Gillian Velmer and Michaela Fibraio run a Sing Aphasia choir rehearsal in a parking lot in Pluckemin, New Jersey
Stitch makes an appearance with Somerset Hills Harmony on Halloween 2021 (Kim Cook)
See how far the idea traveled!