Amazing virtual choir proves geography is no barrier for musicians

You love singing in a chorus, but perhaps you live too far away from a concentration of like-minded musicians, or are limited in mobility, or simply can't make the time on a regular basis. Then sing out praises for the Internet, which promises to solve this problem. At least it has for the 185 members of Eric Whitacre's virtual choir.

And this is no joke, apparent from the very opening of its first haunting piece, Lux Aurumque (Light of Gold) by conductor/composer Eric Whitacre. A total of 185 people recorded their parts in front of a camera and uploaded them to YouTube. Whitaker combined them into a masterful whole. It amazes me how beautifully modulated and blended these voices are, and how gorgeous and somber the result.

The singers came from 12 countries, including Singapore, Germany, Spain, England, and Canada. Whitacre set up a Facebook page to coordinate efforts, and yes, he does have more music planned that you might be able to add your voice to.

This is a great alternative for those who can't afford to pay to sing in workshop choirs under famous conductors. I once sang under the direction of Jean Berger, and the experience is a treasured life memory. This technology should make that kind of joy much more readily available to everyone.

This follows another experiment by YouTube which recently assembled a virtual orchestra. It first allowed musicians to try out via recorded clips, playing a piece by famous composer Tan Dun. The chosen players then rehearsed online under noted conductor Michael Tilton Thomas, director of the San Francisco Orchestra. Finally, YouTube flew all of the members to New York for a performance at Carnegie Hall on April 14, 2009, where they debuted a piece by Dun titled "Internet Symphony Eroica."
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