In the age of social distancing, even sing-alongs need to be reimagined.

About 25 neighbors (and their dogs) came out of doors on the 2200 block of St. James Place on Sunday evening for a “neighborhood karaoke” — socially distanced "stoop singing” on the street.

Event organizer Whitney Covalle, the mother of two and a former high school music teacher in Chicago, is working on her Ph.D. in music education at Temple University.

She was inspired by Chicagoans singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” from balconies and by neighbor Lisa Heller, who wanted to expand the block’s Sunday happy hour to include “loud, cheerful songs.” As the music person, Covalle was called upon to get the idea going.

Lisa Heller, with dog Javier, her father, Harry Heller, and neighbor Theresa Flaherty at the socially distanced karaoke meet-up. They were dancing to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Lisa Heller, with dog Javier, her father, Harry Heller, and neighbor Theresa Flaherty at the socially distanced karaoke meet-up. They were dancing to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.

“Music is in my soul,” she said. “I’ll take any opportunity to bring people together to sing.”

An attempt last week was postponed by cold weather, but it turns out Sunday was Covalle’s 42nd birthday.

Folks sang — with a few dance breaks to the likes of the “Cupid Shuffle" thrown in — to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” the Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

"I’m partial to Motown,” Covalle said.

Jim and Alyse Bodine, with their dog Truman, join in the coronavirus-mandated socially distanced 'stoop' singing.”
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Jim and Alyse Bodine, with their dog Truman, join in the coronavirus-mandated socially distanced 'stoop' singing.”