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Smartphone Choir to Take to the Streets Sunday

 The Smartphone Sing-Along is part of Sunday's global music-making fest celebrating the summer solstice.
The Smartphone Sing-Along is part of Sunday's global music-making fest celebrating the summer solstice.
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Flickr/DidiEnsemble Berlin

DOWNTOWN — Turns out "The Terminator" wasn't that far off — the machines are coming for us.

But instead of plotting world domination, they just wanna sing.

A highlight of Sunday's Make Music Chicago — part of the global Fête de la Musique celebration of the summer solstice — is sure to be a smartphone-enabled choir that will take to the streets and perform in synch while walking different routes.

The Smartphone Sing-Along is the brainchild of the folks at OperaModa, who commissioned a new work by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko for the event.

Here's how it works:

Anyone interested in being part of the choir (amateurs are totally welcome) first needs to download the free Sysync app from iTunes.

The app not only synchronizes your phone but it also contains Zupko's composition "Call Your Dad" in various voice parts. So if you're a tenor, that part comes to the foreground and you sing along.

"That's the basic gist," said Katherine Dalin, who's been coordinating the sing-along's logistics.

Participants will meet up at 4 p.m. at the Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr., and set out by vocal group — bass, soprano, alto, etc. — on separate paths. All the while, each group will be listening to "Call Your Dad" on their phones and singing their appropriate part.

"Be on the lookout for rogue singers," Dalin said. "They're not insane, they're singing on purpose."

As the groups converge, winding up in Maggie Daley Park, the song will be revealed in its fullness for a grand choral finale.

"As far as we know, this hasn't been done previously, people walking in different directions singing together," said Dalin. "It's taking public music to a whole new place."

Dozens of other venues and thousands of musicians are involved in Make Music Chicago. Enjoy free concerts across the city or join in yourself. The complete schedule can be found online.

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