In April 2020 the Toronto group started singing together weekly using Zoom. We were inspired by visiting online and singing with the Montreal Group to see how it worked. So we decided to try it here in Toronto, and have been gathering online to sing weekly since then.
We open the Zoom session each Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern time and chat or check technology for fifteen minutes. Then we start the singing at 7:30. We sing from the Denson 1991 Sacred Harp book. We start with songs lead by pairs or single singers with the rest of us on mute. This is due to the lag that would otherwise cause our voices to combine at different times—making it sound pretty bad. After a break, we start a playlist of various Youtube singings. Requests are done in advance to avoid delays between songs. Here is the Current Zoom link which is also posted in our Facebook group and in the mailing list emails (Send an email to Pleasance to receive these).
In addition to the weekly Denson singing, we also hold a First-Sunday-of-the-Month singing from the Shenandoah Harmony. This singing is usually held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The link will be posted in our Facebook group before the singing and in the mailing list emails.
Other groups around the world also have internet singings or zingings. Evelyn Lamb from Utah has posted a calendar that lists these.
In addition to using Zoom, there are other methods to virtually sing together in different ways:
- Jamulus is a software program that offers real-time sharing of voices but is more complicated technically to set up. The Philadelphia Shape Note Group wrote a guide.
- Facebook Streaming is an ingenious method using Facebook Live video to daisy-chain singers together. It can also work with Instagram. Check out this Facebook group for more info.
- Dispersed Harmonies is a group of singers from all over who make separate video recordings that are submitted and mixed together afterward. Here’s a Youtube playlist of songs they’ve done.