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A community of voices.

Minneapolis neighbors stay connected with social distance singalongs

Residents of Minneapolis sing together as a way to maintain connectivity while under Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order. Christine Nguyen/MPR News

Inspired by videos of quarantined Italians singing and playing music, Minnesotans are stepping out their doors to lift up their voices as a way to maintain connectivity while under Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order.

At 7 p.m. in the Powderhorn neighborhood, you'll hear songs like "You are My Sunshine," The Beatles' "Let It Be," or "If I Had a Hammer," written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays.

A group of neighbors have been meeting every evening on the 3400 block of 15th Avenue in Minneapolis for an organized social distance singalong. They share song suggestions and lyrics through a Google Doc rather than sheets of paper so they can stand apart from each other.

"When I see our neighbors begin to gather and people walking by begin to gather, I feel like as we sing together and as we breathe together, we bridge some of the physical distance between us," Gretchen Pick said.

At the same time in a nearby south Minneapolis neighborhood, Aszani Stoddard has been singing every night, rain or shine, since mid-March.

Stoddard is encouraging others to do the same, and people around the Twin Cities have been joining in from their own porches or street corners.

While Stoddard and friends have been singing John Lennon's "Imagine," she says it doesn't matter what song you sing or even that you can't sing well. What's important is that singing connects people.

"It's one of the things that we have used to connect ourselves with other people throughout time," Stoddard said. "We're all in it together.

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