Photo courtesy of Meenakshi Sinha 
                                From left, Kirkland residents Nick Davis and Silvia Bajardi play their instruments at a neighborhood music event March 15.

Photo courtesy of Meenakshi Sinha From left, Kirkland residents Nick Davis and Silvia Bajardi play their instruments at a neighborhood music event March 15.

‘We’re still in this together’: Inspired by Italian residents, Kirkland resident organizes singing event

Meenakshi Sinha wanted to connect Kirkland neighborhoods amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to spread, so have the viral videos of apartment-dwelling, self-quarantined Italian citizens singing in harmony from their balconies.

For many people around the world, these videos have collectively become something of a beacon of hope. Their effect was so strong for Meenakshi Sinha, who lives in the Norkirk neighborhood, that late March 13, a light bulb went off in her head: Why not coordinate something similar in Kirkland?

The owner of The Giving Canvas went to Be Neighborly Kirkland 2.0, a community Facebook page and shared her idea. When others agreed that it would be fun to initiate, Sinha set up an event listing within the group.

Regulations were loose. At 11 a.m. on March 15, residents across Kirkland were encouraged to step outside their homes for a few minutes and share their music with the world, all the while following social-distancing guidelines.

Some opted to belt a song from their balconies. Others harmonized while going on a leisurely walk with loved ones. Sinha’s neighbor brought out her cello; the latter’s son set up a drum kit. Kids brought out pots and pans and shoe boxes; Sinha’s 7-year-old daughter pulled out a set of maracas and a mouth organ. Sinha heard afterward from Kirklanders hailing from Italy that the event reminded them of home.

Although Sinha acknowledged that it’s difficult to organize such an event in a neighborhood setting, and that she doesn’t know the total turnout of all participating neighborhoods, she said she was “very pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out.”

“Hidden talents came out,” she said.

Sinha said that after the event, others suggested to her that this becomes a weekly event until the pandemic begins to slow down — which is something she’s enthusiastic about.

“It’s very important,” Sinha said of events like Sunday’s. “We are human beings and human beings are very social by nature. We thrive in social settings. Especially in times like these, when people have been told to stay home and not interact with each other physically, I feel like we need an outlet. We need to be able to connect with each other for our mental health, for our neighbors’ and our friends’ mental health, but also ease some of the stress that we all have been feeling…It just helps send out that message that we are still connected. We’re still in this together.”

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Dr. Adam Rothenber is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at EvergreenHealth Orthopedic & Sports Care. Courtesy photo/EvergreenHealth
The ins and outs of joint replacement

By Dr. Adam Rothenberg Special to the Reporter According to the Center… Continue reading

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Screenshot of the stray kitten and the Rev. Aaron Burt from the July 12 liturgy video.
Stray kitten surprises local priest during virtual Sunday service

“It was one of the most difficult sermons I’ve ever had to offer, because I was trying not to step on her.”

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

Listen and Talk students playing on playground. Courtesy photo.
Specialty school coming to Kirkland

Listen and Talk is a specialized program for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Decorated statue at Marina Park in support of Black Lives Matter efforts. Reader submitted photo.
Ribbons for Black Lives Matter

The display at Marina Park coincides with statewide efforts of the local King County Black Lives Matter chapter.

Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from June 5 through September 25.
Kirkland farmers markets are ready for shoppers

Both Kirkland Wednesday Market and Juanita Friday Market are practicing social distancing during their reopenings.

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Hannah Scholes. COURTESY PHOTO
Waste reduction from home

A monthly column from Waste Management.