Skip to content Skip to footer

The New York Sings Along initiative is bringing us together through music

The Peace of Heart Choir is a community choir based in NYC, formed shortly after 9/11. They provide free performances for communities in need. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, that community was all of New York. 

Across the city, businesses and public places were shutting down. Large social gatherings were being canceled. For a non-profit choir that performs in hospitals, nursing homes, and soup kitchens, the shutdowns meant the choir’s planned events were being benched. 


View this post on Instagram


Who are you singing with on Thursday? Of course, in a socially/physically distanced and safe way only, please! . Thursday, May 14, 2020. 7:02pm EST. Tune in to @wkcr or @wbai99.5. S I N G! S H A R E. Y O U R. V I D E O by tagging us and using the hashtag #NewYorkSingsAlong! . And – as always – please #spreadtheword 💜! . . . . #peaceofheartchoir #pohc #robertrenegalvan #nycchoir #instachoir #instamusic #choir #singers #pohcsingers #music #choralmusic #newyorkchoir #choirfun #chorus #livemusic #livechoir #sing #musicisourlife #musicislife #outreachconcert #musicbringsustogether #musicforthesoul #healingwithmusic #charity #coronavirus #newyorktough #somegoodnews [📸credit: @peaceofheartchoir]

A post shared by Peace of Heart Choir (@peaceofheartchoir) on May 12, 2020 at 7:48am PDT

“Our last performance was actually in Port Authority,” said Gary Baker, choir member of 12 years and co-founder of New York Sings Along.

“To people streaming by on their way to what is now an empty place, on their way to and from their home. We very quickly realized that we simply couldn’t do that anymore.”

In early April, the Facebook page for their new initiative, New York Sings Along, went live. On April 16, their first song–Frank Sinatra’s “Theme from New York, New York”–was broadcast city-wide

“New York Sings Along was really inspired by public singing that we saw around the world,” said Robert Hornsby, fellow choir member, and co-founder. “

There was a group of Italians who were hanging from the terraces of their piazza, and Gary saw that and brought that to my attention. It’s fabulous, but we don’t have piazzas in New York…so we started thinking about what we could do that fits with our mission to bring people together for music.” 

The public reception was very positive: across New York City, people were filming themselves singing out their windows, on their balconies, and on the streets of New York.

They continued for five Thursdays in April and May, shortly following the nightly “Clap Because We Care” tribute that honored New York’s essential workers. 


View this post on Instagram


The @peaceofheartchoir is back with it’s #newyorksingsalong event for our second city-wide sing-along! . Join us after the #clapbecausewecare at 7 pm EST on Thursday, April 23. . After last week’s phenomenal success, let’s see what else we can do: . This week – Bill Withers’ iconic “Lean on Me”! A karaoke favorite with a message for our times. And a truly fun song to sing. . Last week, we noticed that many people participated from all around the country and the world. So this week, our goal is to take our event NATIONAL! If you’re not in New York City, don’t worry. But do join us! . Link in bio 🔝 to sign up, follow our main New York Sings Along FB page, and watch this space for more info before Thursday. . And – as always – please #spreadtheword 💜! . #peaceofheartchoir #pohc #robertrenegalvan #nycchoir #instachoir #instamusic #choir #singers #pohcsingers #music #choralmusic #newyorkchoir #singing #chorus #livemusic #livechoir #sing #mixedchoir #musicisourlife #musicislife #outreachconcert #musicbringsustogether #musicforthesoul #healingwithmusic #charity #coronavirus #newyorktough [📸credit: @carriecharlot]

A post shared by Peace of Heart Choir (@peaceofheartchoir) on Apr 19, 2020 at 6:43am PDT

By the end of the initiative’s run, the choir saw over 30,000 participants and were provided support from around the world. Their Facebook page reached nearly 500,000 people and has almost 9,000 followers. 

“If you look at some of the videos that people have posted after the performances, they’re really amazing,” said Baker.

“They’re very heartwarming. In some cases, they’re heartbreaking because you see a lot of pain, but you also see people coming together. You see people taking joy in music, sharing it with their neighbors with their pets, and tons of people. You can really see the impact of these videos.”

The performances were also broadcast on Columbia University’s campus radio station, WKCR (89.9 FM), as well as independent radio station WBAI (99.5 FM). 

Hornsby and Baker were both blown away by the initiative’s impact, and news outlets like NBC, CBS, and Reuters have picked up on the viral sensation. As the choir approaches their 20th anniversary next years, Hornsby hopes that they will be able to perform together again

“It will really depend upon what health experts think is safe and what we’ll be allowed to do,” said Hornsby.

“We’ve had a long relationship With the 9/11 Museum, and we’ve performed there many times for first responder families. Hopefully, in a year’s time, we’ll be able to come together and help the city put the COVID behind us to the extent that we can.”

Be sure to check out their website, for more information on their performances!

In-Home Exercise: How to Workout During the Lockdown

As the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 is enforced across the world, our habits had to change.

Schools, restaurants, and gyms were closed in order to protect us. If you are one of the people who miss their double bass pedals – using them is similar to doing exercises at the gym, sort of – don’t worry, you can still work out at home and get the best results.

Why is working out important?

There is probably no credible scientific paper out there that doesn’t mention how important working out is for your physical and mental health. This makes exercising even more salient as it will not only stop you from gaining weight but it can also help you stop developing anxiety or panic attacks as the lockdown is under effect.

When you are physically active, you are lowering the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure which, in turn, also reduces the risk of developing certain illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. You’ll also have a better and larger muscle mass and help your bone density so you won’t suffer from sarcopenia or osteoporosis.

It seems that physical activity is also important in helping your immune system work properly because this way you can flush bacteria from your airways, raise the temperature of your body and the number of white blood cells, plus their circulation – all of these things are useful when it comes to fighting an infection.

What exercises can you do?

If you aren’t put in self-isolation so you can go out for a limited time for essentials, then you can jog or cycle around a bit in your area so you are keeping your body active. Be careful not to stray away too much from your home and to keep a distance from everybody you encounter during your exercise.

If you don’t want to risk going out or you can’t, that’s great, you’re doing what the doctors need you to do. But this doesn’t mean you have to become a couch potato or continue to be one. You can start a work from home routine that doesn’t even require that much equipment so you can start doing it anytime.

In case you already own something like a treadmill or an exercise bike, then you already know that you can work out from home easily and keep a fit body and mind. If you don’t have any such device, don’t worry, any exercise that can raise your heart rate is good for your health.

One exercise for which you won’t need any accessories or devices is to simply talk a brisk walk around the house or go up and down a pair of stairs. If you live in an apartment complex, you can do these exercises in the hallway but it’s not really recommended as you don’t know who was there moments before you.

If you want to keep the exercise to a minimum and more enjoyable activity, then the next time you talk on the phone, walk around the house instead of sitting down on the couch or bed. Dancing is one of the simplest ways you can keep fit – just play your favorite music and dance away!

You’ll need to have those dance breaks three times a day for about 15 minutes which is really not a lot (you’ll fit between 3 and 5 songs per workout). You can also try a TikTok dance challenge if you want to really make the best of it, and who knows, you may become the next viral sensation.

If you don’t have neighbors below you that complain about the noise all day, you can jump rope. If your old jump rope is long gone you can improve with some literal rope although you have to be more careful not to trip. Then again in order to make the rope act as a jumping rope, you’ll need to put in more effort so that’s a good thing.

Since there are many people in your situation, plenty of YouTubers have now created simple exercises you can do at home, by yourself, with no extra accessories needed or you can simply download an app and follow those instructions. Keep on pushing it!

Call me, fam: Our community tells us how they’re passing the time

We’re all getting to the point where we’re losing interest in the initial things we were doing amid quarantine. We need a COVID check-in.

What can we say? We’re an easily bored bunch, most millennials and Gen Z are. So, of course, we asked our community what they’ve been doing during COVID lockdowns. Their answers were pretty varied and we love it.

Streaming our fave shows

The obvious answer that most would point to first is binge-watching. As the generations who created the phenomena, we’re no stranger to sitting through several episodes a day of our latest obsession.

Maybe you’re even like me and have several shows in the running at any given time. The complex drama, the light-hearted show, the guilty pleasure, it’s all about balance.

Altered Carbon on Netflix has been a favorite. With two seasons now available to stream, if you like sci-fi and complex narratives and good acting this is your show. It’s like Blade Runner 2049 visuals combined with some Matrix nostalgia and Black Mirror tech.

Narcos both the original and Narcos Mexico have plenty of seasons for you to catch up on. Personally, I prefer Narcos Mexico. It’s shorter and you don’t really need the original to understand what’s going on. It may be a good gateway to starting the longer standing original too.

On My Block is the perfect dramedy. With four seasons to catch up on, there’s both humor and real-life consequences of a group of young teens growing up in a rough fictional neighborhood on the west coast.

The cast’s acting chops are recognized more every new season. So, if you wanna laugh AND cry this is the show for you.

A member of the KH fam pointed out that we have more time to peep new shows movies, and series. With this time in quarantine, we can give shows more of a chance.

Movie Marathons

So, we all love a marathon. While Harry Potter may be the most obvious and most nostalgic one for many, there are way more marathons out there. Finally, some of us have gotten to watch the Marvel movies.

Others are discovering Studio Ghibli. Still, more may be rewatching Wes Anderson films. The Star Wars saga, or even the Twilight Saga.

Go back in time and stream some of your fave childhood films. C’mon who doesn’t love a throwback episode of Spongebob?

YouTube Wormholes and Tutorials

It’s finally that time to actually pick up that skill you’ve been wanting to learn. With YouTube tutorials at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you wanna get better at photo editing for IG or play guitar?

Or perhaps you want to be inspired. Now’s the time to look into sustainable living practices, financial advice, and just learning more about other communities around the world.

Other unnecessary YouTube playlists are available too. Like home makeovers, top 10 lists, how to make your cat love you or stuff getting crushed in slow motion. It could be cathartic.

You could also take some time to get into guided meditation. More spiritual practices. Or just end up in a stream of YouTube videos about giraffes for no real reason.

You can also peep the KH channel. We have mad content on there.


Those of us who used to love reading in the past, or always wanted to get into it, now, have an opportunity to actually do it.

So if you’ve been accumulating books over time and never actually got to cracking them open. Now’s your chance.

Our community referenced, “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp” written by Kobe Bryant, and the “Order of Time” by Carlo Rovelli as a starting point. Hopefully, I can finally read “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon.

Social Media

The closest you can be to as many people at once is through social media.

You’re never really alone there. Even if you never really were into any given platform, now is your chance to get skilled at them all.

Get your Twitter game up, learn all about TikTok or just scroll through IG for inspo. The world is at your fingertips. Join our Discord server and gain a whole new community.

Don’t forget. The KH fam is always active on all platforms and ready to connect.