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Out & About: Sing — or play — even if no one can hear it during UVMC virtual event

  • The Upper Valley Music Center is encouraging people to get outside, or open their windows, and play music or sing from noon-1 p.m. on Saturday as part of the Lebanon-based nonprofit organization's Sing and Play Music Festival which went online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photograph courtesy of the Upper Valley Music Center)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2020 9:43:48 PM
Modified: 6/3/2020 9:43:40 PM

Wherever you are on Saturday from noon- 1 p.m., consider walking outside and singing.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune or if your voice is a bit rusty, if you live in a neighborhood or on a farm, if you can hear your neighbors or not. There will be dozens of people — maybe hundreds — throughout the Upper Valley doing the same thing as part of the “Upper Valley Music Center All Together Now” event.

“It’s a moment together that people aren’t logged into their computer,” said Erin Jenkins Smith, assistant director at the Upper Valley Music Center. “Maybe they’ll step outside their front door and see a neighbor down the street also doing it at the same time or maybe they’ll just do it by themselves and know that other people are out there at the same time.”

People can sing or play an instrument. If they can’t bring their instrument outside, they can open their window so the sound can be heard.

“I’m a fiddler so that’s what I think of, sitting on the front porch and playing the fiddle. That’s what I plan to do,” Smith said. “There’s not even a suggestion of what to play or sing. Play or sing what makes you happy.”

The event is part of the Lebanon-based nonprofit organization’s annual Sing and Play Festival. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has moved online and instead of taking place on a single day, concerts and performances started on May 16 and will conclude Saturday.

“We are doing some online events and there’s lots of great online content but we are also just aware that people are spending much more time on the the computer, families with children are doing more screen time than they’d prefer,” Smith said. “When we do the festival in person, our main mission is to get people to play and sing for each other. It’s not a professionally produced concert. It’s a chance for everyone to participate.”

If you’re looking for a suggestion on what to perform, consider Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

“A lot of our students are playing that song this year,” Smith said. More than 100 students enrolled in Suzuki lessons at UVMC were working on the piece in their lessons to perform at a showcase in March before the pandemic canceled the show. “They were all going to play Ode to Joy together.”

And there’s a good chance many will be playing on Saturday.

Here’s a look at some Upper Valley-based virtual events coming up.

■The Lebanon Farmers Market takes place from 3-7 p.m. Thursday at Colburn Park in downtown Lebanon. Masks are required. Visit for more information.

■Pianist and Classicopia artistic director Daniel Weiser will be joined by siblings Emmanuel and Frances Borowsky on violin and cello, respectively, to perform from 7-8 p.m. as part Fairlee Community Arts’ COVID online concert series. For more information, visit the nonprofit organization’s Facebook page “Fairlee Community Arts.”

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>The Norwich Farmers Market takes place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at 281 Route 5. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks. For more information, visit

■The Plainfield Community Church, located at 1094 Route 12A, is hosting its annual plant sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Offerings include perennials, annuals, vegetable seedlings and house plants. Organizers are asking attendees to wear masks and social distance. For more information, email

■Literary North and Still North Books and Bar are co-hosting a poetry open mic night from 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday via Zoom. Sign up to participate or listen by Friday at

Editor’s note: Send Upper Valley-based virtual events to Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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