Singing Across Social Distance
Even in the midst of social distancing, mandatory lockdowns, and the continuing spread of COVID-19, Penn student and alumni singers are still making music—from a distance. We’ve rounded up a few of the videos that Quaker singers have been creating, in their attempts to fill the live-performance-sized hole in our world right now.
Along with their Tony-winning sibling Ben, Jonah C’08 and Henry C’21 Platt have formed “The Platt Brothers” trio, first singing this arrangement of “Ahavat Olam” by fellow alum Gabriel Mann C’95 and Piper Rutman:
And then performing a medley of graduation songs as part of the ABC TV special “Graduate Together 2020”:
Mask and Wig alumnus and Broadway veteran Chip Zien C’69 appeared in the star-studded “Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration” to sing “No More” from Into the Woods—the popular Sondheim show in which he originated the role of the Baker:
The Pennchants received a thumbs-up from Barry Manilow himself (“Thanks to THE PENNCHANTS for a great take on COPA!,” he wrote on Facebook) for their socially distant performance of “Copacabana”—part of their online concert series in partnership with the hunger-relief organization Philabundance:
Penn Counterparts put their spin on socially distant a cappella too, with this cover of “Don’t Start Now,” recorded in locations thousands of miles apart:
Here are the Penny Loafers with “Bleeding Love,” filmed in 14 different spots across the country:
Penn Masala released this “Quarantine Cover” of “Waiting on the World to Change / Give Me Some Sunshine”:
And at the beginning of this week, during the University’s live-streamed “First Celebration of the Class of 2020” to mark Penn commencement, the musical guests included the Penn Band (15:04), Duval Courteau C’20 on the national anthem (17:07) —and as the grand finale, John Legend C’99 joined other Penn voices for a round of “The Red and the Blue” (51:10):
Keep singing, Quakers!
—Molly Petrilla C’06