Nickel City Sound, a local women’s barbershop chorus, has been experimenting with a new way of getting together, to sing safely during COVID19.
Singing, after all, is known to be good for mental health and wellness in many ways.
Connecting with other choral groups around North America and in Sudbury, Nickel City Sound was introduced to the concept of “drive-in radio rehearsals.”
Ralph McIntosh, director of Young Sudbury Singers, connected the chorus with Sean Perras (Cambrian College), a sound technician with the know-how, equipment and time to help figure the process out.
In September, using a dollar store transmitter in a parking lot, Nickel City Sound, with Perras’s help, enlisted volunteer members to gather and “give it a go”.
This proof of concept worked well and more drive-in radio rehearsals were scheduled. An upgraded FM transmitter was purchased and the group met in their vehicles at a campground in Sudbury on Oct. 3.
Perras provided the equipment consisting of hand-held microphones wired from each car to a sounding board and then fed back to the car via radio signal from the FM transmitter. Since FM signals travel faster than internet, there is much less delay between what you hear and what you sing.
Co-directors Martha Walli and Jennifer Huss said in that joint statement that “although not perfect, it feels wonderful to hear and sing together again.”
The next Drive-In Radio Rehearsal is scheduled for Oct. 17
(rain date Oct. 18).
The chorus continues to be active by engaging in weekly online Zoom rehearsals, learning new songs and is currently producing a virtual chorus video (coming soon)!.
You can catch them on Facebook or by visiting the website www.nickelcitysound.ca.