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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
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.
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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Kathryn Denney conducts and Bryce Denney plays piano during a parking lot choir in October 2020
Don and Chris Staffin sing from their car during a Somerset Hills Harmony rehearsal in Fall 2020 in New Jersey
Stitch makes an appearance with Somerset Hills Harmony on Halloween 2021 (Kim Cook)
See how far the idea traveled!