Dave Lim

TEDx Ambassador, TEDxSingapore

This conversation is closed.

If you were a member of Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre's incredible global collaboration please share your story & journey with us & the world

... plus, do tell us which country-city you're from, and add the link to your YouTube audition link, if you wish.

Thank you.

  • Apr 2 2011: On May 14th 2009, I was in my room in the morning writing in my journal. I had recently become friends with Eric Whitacre on Facebook, and was delighted to know that I could possibly get in touch with him just to thank him for his tremendous inspiration. I knew it would be difficult for him to respond to fan mail, since he's quite a busy man! Out of no where, an idea popped in my head as I was singing along to a cd of Eric's music in my room. I wrote down that I was I going to contact Whitacre by making a video for him of gratitude and song. I took out my camera, kept my Polyphony CD playing, went over to my bedroom window for sufficient lighting, and clicked RECORD. My hands were trembling but I kept going. I recorded myself a few times, but decided that my first take was the one to send. Within hours, I went back on Facebook to see a notification: Eric Whitacre has commented on your video. I was floored. I was speechless... at least for a moment while I read his response. I jumped and screamed for joy with my Mom as my witness! He had come up with an "OMG" kind of idea, which we can all see is the best kind ;) From that point on, everything changed. My inspiration knew me, and saw me for who I am. To be recognized and understood, is one of those feelings that leaves you tremendously joyful and fulfilled. Meeting him at Lincoln Center, and then performing with him for Paradise Lost at Carnegie Hall, was all a part of a dream I didn't even know was possible. Throughout this journey I've always believed in the words he told me personally, to never give up. By believing in yourself, and sending love consciously into the world, the world will consciously love you back. Eric is a giving, beautiful soul, and that is why he deserves everything this world has to offer. I cannot wait to see him again at the premiere of the Virtual Choir at the Paley Center on April 7th, 2011.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xGBWhWgydw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54RVtMFOADw
    • Apr 6 2011: I was hearing about this project about ten days before the Deadline. The learning Process was more than fast, the same day I was singing Sopran 1, but my voice was not good enough to record it and I had to do a lot because of Christmas, two days later I got the flu and lost most of my voice, I was completely sad because I could not sing the hight notes of the soprano 1, I was trying all kind of medicines, Tee , trying not to speak too much (with two little kids not the eassiest thing :).

      One day before Endline (30 Dez) I have decided to learn the soprano 2 and to try to sing the high notes from it, after some hours it was working a little bit better, but not good enough to make a record, frustration number two :(. At 31st Dez I have decided to make a third try, but my voice was worst and worst, no chance, I have to let it, we were celebrating at friends and at first Januar came to your page to see how many people could make it, what a surprise when I read I have another chance, we can make it till 10th Januar, YAHOOO,,,this was my best present in this new year, I could make it,,,,yesssss. Second Januar, no voice……sixth Januar,,,,no chance….Ahhhhh, if I just wanted to scream a lot and cry,but I had four more days….waiting for a miracle….

      One day before the endline I could sing again the high notes of Soprano 1 but without energy, I was still sick, but I had to try…lets make a record of it, maybe they can use my face without sound I have tried with a programm called Camtasia, but the sound was terrible, it was coming always a noise I could not eliminate it, two hours later,,,,nothing, four hours later after many youtube videos explaining how to delite the bad noices, nothing….after six hours I had to go to bed, I was just KAPUTT (german word for something like DONE).

      The next day, my last chance, I brang my kiddies to kindergarden and tried and tried to make a good video, but I had big problems to keep the air and my voice was worst than ever, then the noises at the video,,,,I have decided to make a break of some hours, at seven PM I have decided to make my last try, some hours later it was not done, the horrorrrrrr. Suddenly came a thought : Why don´t you record directly from youtube?“ let´s try, what a surprise, the video quality was not the best, but the sound…..jaaaaaaa, but the video was not appearing, nooooo, one hour break, over last try….it worked, it was there, first soprano 2 and after a while I have decided to make the soprano 1 too and it worked too, not the best at all, but decent, I was sooo happy, some hours later I have seen that the first video was also there, so three tries which worked, that night I could really SLEEP like an angel with a big smile.

      Why did I sing at this virtual choir? I was singing here, because I have sung in manychoirs in Venezuela as I a little kid was, When I was 20 I was directing a choir and singing at some good choirs. Then, when I was 28 I felt in love with a german man ,married him and came to Germany and created my german family with two kids. Here I have sung at two choirs, but they are not professional, they sing just for fun and what they sing had nots a high degree of dificulty. I have missed to sing something which is asking for more concentration , I love dissonances and Sleep had this element too, and what about the lyrics of this song? I was singing it and I was living what I was singing, because I live all these words everynight when I get sleeping, many things are coming to my mind, nice and bad things, depending on the day, depending on what I am leaving at the moment, it does not matter what we have for sorrows or wishes, at the end we get into sleep, it was a real pleasure to sing it and this can you see in my face when I made my videos, maybe I was not singing perfect, I could not breath too well and keep the notes how I would like, but I can tell you for sure that I was singing with an open heart and that I enjoyed it a lot.

      Thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity,it was a marvellous experience.
    • Apr 6 2011: Thanks, Britlin, for sharing your story and for your courage and inspiration. Wishing you continuing joy in your journeys!
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    Apr 2 2011: WOW, the VC experience has been a great one. It is difficult to express in words what a unique, challenging, and fun journey it has been. We are strangers that have come together to meet a common goal and have done so from the comfort of living and dorm, and even bath (HA!) rooms stretched out from sea to sea to sea. We are professional and amateur, young and old, confident and shaky, rich and not so, students, unemployed, working, and retired. What we all have in common is drive, determination, will to work hard and risk feeling embarrassed (come ON! Some do, but many of us DO NOT, sing a capella in front of our computers, or anyone else for that matter, then upload it for the world to see!), patience, and love for music. Worth mentioning also is perseverance. I’m sure that most of us recorded many times over before we uploaded. For me, probably 25 takes on different days, and I will admit I was sometimes frustrated in the beginning. I uploaded at the 11th hour on Dec. 31 and was grateful for the extension and the opportunity to upload again, attempting to hit more of the correct notes! Well, I did so at the 11th hour of the extension, and guess what? I still didn't get all the notes correctly!! But I did it!!! I, for one, am thankful for this neat experience and am looking forward to hearing the fruits of our labor and for the next VC too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJIG1FVw2OU I can't believe I am posting this but if the other members are brave enough, then I think I should be too. : )
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      Apr 4 2011: You go Julie! I have enjoyed becoming friends through our VC experience and will be with you in spirit on Thursday night. It's gonna be great! Four more days!
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        Apr 4 2011: Thanks Jack! I'll be thinking of you!
    • Apr 4 2011: Nice video, Julie!
      I'm dreaming of an opportunitiy to meet the VC singers and sing with each other LIVE! With Eric conducting it off course....
      The 2012 Olympics in London would be suitable, don't you think?
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        Apr 4 2011: Henny, too bad you couldn't have come for the premier and then to "Sing with Eric" at the Lincoln Center 4 days later!! You said your sister and brother in law are coming, right? Who knows. Maybe we will meet!
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        Apr 6 2011: I just can't see that happening really. It would be hard just in the US to hold such a thing so to do it worldwide, with the nature of the choir, virtual, I somehow think that is how we will always sing together. I'm not wishing away all the fun that this week will hold but I am so looking forward to VC 3.0 too!
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        Apr 6 2011: And EEEK! You watched my video??? Someone actually watched it?!?!?!?! It is so funny that I haven't taken it down and that I actually posted it here because I had the HARDEST time ever making it and then getting the courage to post in on Youtube. And there on Youtube it stays...hahaha
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    Apr 3 2011: It is so moving to read these comments. The Virtual Choir project was an extraordinary highlight of the TED conference last month, and I know it's going to have a huge impact across the world. Everyone who participated is a hero as far as I'm concerned....
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    Apr 1 2011: I am David. My daughter Mikayla and I submitted for the VC, and today we see ourselves in the TED video @ 12:35, side by side on the far left. How'd we get here ???

    I sang with various high level choirs in Vancouver, before moving to a much smaller town in the interior of BC, Canada. This 100,000 pop town in comparison, just does not have the same level of choices available. And then we found the Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir. Mikayla sings with a very accomplished choir here as well, but given the chance to sing and be directed by Eric ... personally (virtually), we both jumped at it. This video of Sleep will show little 'ol us singing "alongside" world class singers. Knowing that they all had moments struggling with and learning the piece, just as we did ... is a comforting and communal place. Although our (the choirs) "performance" actually occurred over months as apposed to minutes, I think of it as a group performance. Me ... while standing in front of the camera ... at the same moment 2000 others did. The difference is we gotta wait for the public performance.

    Remove the stretched time-line, and I feel like we belong to a chorus and a community, the likes of which we never could have found in little Kamloops, B.C., Vancouver or London or anywhere.

    Belonging is the natural consequence of community. Mikayla and I belong to something that is very important to us, we have shared with a camera, in silence, an incredibly exposing moment of our face and voice alone, uploaded to Youtube. The magic of video rendering brings forth what we call ... a work of art. And then there's communicating with other VC members on FB. We have all shared our stories, we have all anxiously awaited the release, like kids waiting their turn at the sandbox.

    Now we have been seen on TED ... a week from now our video will go viral.
    And we belong.

    If your on facebook, go here, and read hundreds of testimonials.
    www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=96697614927&topic=30473#topic_top
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    Apr 3 2011: Eric Whitacre's music — to me — is healing in sound form.

    Unlike most participants, not a singer and wouldn't do well at an audition. So a virtual choir, where I could pick from many takes, is the only way I could sing with my favorite composer.

    Experiencing my own body creating these vibrations, singing these sweet, sweet words, was an out-of-this-world experience. Throughout the day when I catch myself singing or humming, it's usually a pop song about a breakup, unrequited love, cheating, anger — and the contrast of filling my body with this sweet song was truly a healing experience.

    I'm so moved by the fact that my contribution was WANTED, and welcome. My voice? Really? Anybody's voice? It's so democratic and welcoming and loving, and I'm so moved by the openness. What I couldn't offer in clarity, a skilled sound engineer made up for by scrubbing my video. My energetic contribution is there, and so much of my heart is in this video, because I feel so much love from the song, from Eric, and from everyone who participated. It's an experience of resplendent unity and acceptance, despite weaknesses, above competition, where everyone came as they were, and we sound and look glorious for it.

    A girl from New Zealand will stay with me in New York for the premiere on April 7. I'll meet Britlin that week too, and Jack, when he comes to NYC. We are friends because of the choir. The vision we now share, of creating experiences that unite people across borders, across space and time, despite individual differences, is thanks to this Choir. Thank you, Eric, and thank you, everyone, for your missives of love in this galactic experience. We truly took part in something that matters.
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      Apr 4 2011: Beautiful words from a beautiful soul. I'm looking forward to meeting you too, Maria, and I'm so glad we were in the VC together. Four more days!
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      Apr 7 2011: Maria, I'm so glad to read your story. I've seen you posting on Eric's Facebook wall. It is extraordinary, isn't it, to come as we are and all be made beautiful for it.
      I'm sorry I didn't know earlier about the member conversations going on. I'm envious of the connections so many of you have made. I look forward to reading your reports on how it feels to experience the premiere together!
      My special good wishes to the 'girl from New Zealand' who is staying with you. Tell her it's from another girl from New Zealand. =)
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      Apr 8 2011: Beautifully put, Maria! That made me cry :-) I too feel it has helped make me a different / better person.
    • Apr 17 2011: YES! That is one of the many great things music can do-heal. Thank you for your inspiring story! Have you noticed you don't have to teach music to little kids? Music is a universal gift we are born with. And Eric Whitaker's music definitely sings to us!
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    Apr 2 2011: I'm a 49-year-old video producer and technology columnist for a large newspaper and web site in Tampa Bay, FL. I grew up in a musical family and throughout high school and college I was in many bands and choral groups. I found Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir using Stumbleupon last year.

    I was stunned by the beauty of "Lux Aurumque" and amazed by the wonderful technology that made it possible. But I also struggled with another feeling, one that made me wonder if the intimacy of choir singing would someday be lost in the technology. There are few things that feel as pure as making music with your voice. When you do that standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others who share that vision; when you hear and feel their breath; when the overtones (notes that are heard but not sung) soar from the ensemble from the depths of perfect harmonies...there is nothing else like it. I wasn't sure I was ready to trade intimacy for the Internet.

    Watching the videos of Eric describing the "Sleep" project, I admired his vision and passion. Then it dawned on me that although I would be trading the personal, physical experience of singing in this choir I was gaining a chance to sing with people from all over the world lead by an acclaimed composer and conductor. When again would I have that chance?

    When I made my recording, the one thing that really surprised me was the virtual connection I made with Eric as he conducted me through the piece on YouTube. I haven't met him but when I was done I felt as if I sort of knew him. He conducts with so much emotion and exuberance that the experience was much more intimate than I ever imagined.

    Currently I'm organizing an effort by VC members to produce a special song for the people of Japan in the wake of the devastating tsunami. It's not an official Virtual Choir project but one that comes form the hearts of people who have been inspired by Eric and the VC experience to create some beauty and give back to the world.

    http://youtu.be/6OnM_TFJjxI
  • Apr 3 2011: It was probably the oddest thing I have ever done, sitting at my computer with pajama bottoms and black on top, singing a song composed for SATB into a web cam....alone.

    When I first discovered Eric's "Lux" virtual choir, I was speechless.I have sung in choirs for years, and know full well the importance of not just learning the music together, but feeling the music together, breathing together, experiencing it together. It's what good choirs do. But this. This video showed that same emotional and musical connection even though I knew none of them had ever even met, much less rehearsed together. So when Eric announced his intentions for Virtual Choir 2.0, I knew I had to be a part of it.

    That's how I ended up in a rather ridiculous outfit, wearing headphones and singing high As into a webcam. Alone. It was rather hard at first, not because singing by myself was difficult (years of singing in a college a cappella group kicked that out of me) but I had never realized just how much I drew from other singers. A half dozen technical glitches later, I was officially part of the virtual choir.

    When the final total for the video came out, I was amazed. Over 2000 voices, singing alone, at different times, in different places...united. People who may never meet, might not speak the same language, and live very different lives...together, united in song for a brief moment. Unified, in harmony. Across the world...yet together.

    Call us what you will...choir geeks, divas who will take any oppertunity to show off our voices, perfectionists, one-take-wonders, dorks who may never have the courage to sing outside the shower, friends on a dare, or professional musicians. And maybe we are.

    Or are we just ordinary people, living ordinary lives, who will do anything to be part of something bigger than ourselves? Something extroidinary? Something beautiful? Something..heavenly?
    • Apr 3 2011: Dear Anna. I was thinking of commenting myself, of adding my story and thoughts about what the Virtual-choir-experience means to me. There´s no need to do so anymore. You just wrote down what I think and feel - and beautifully as well. Thank you so much!
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      Apr 3 2011: I absolutely love your words, Anna! And I totally understand what you are saying about how much you gain from having other singers around you. They tag off of you, you tag off of them, you need a breath, they cover it up...etc. It was very revealing, this singing "a capella" into a webcam. : )
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    Apr 3 2011: I wrote this note on the VC Choir wall 10th January:

    It's five minutes before midnight here in the UK and I just uploaded my alto 2 part - lots of croaky attempts, technical challenges but it's out there. I am not in a choir, never recorded myself (since aged 16!) and certainly not made it public, thank you for the opportunity to give it a go. I am excited to see the final piece.


    I wrote this note to Eric soon after I had up-loaded my video:

    I am sure you have heard this a thousand times in the last few days, however I will express it my own way. Thank you so much for facilitating such a coming together of voices, not only that, the beautiful music and the post production that will ensue now the singing is complete.

    I could not believe how "close" I felt to the piece, down to the intimacy of singing alone I guess, as well as having my own personal conductor on screen! Once I got over the "am I in time?" "what about the other voices?" - needing a witness in some way, it was such a great experience. I should not have procrastinated and you might have got a better final submission - but the sense i might not do it at the last minute probably spurred me on. I was part of the collective procrastinators. Can't wait to see/hear the voices come together.

    Since I recorded:

    I am singing! A lot. The Virtual Choir project has been part of my journey to embrace music in my life again, my voice and the voice and sound all around. It provided the platform for a tentative toe in the water experience, practising the piece, listening and watching as more and more submissions were made, it allowed me to "grow" into really wanting to contribute, take a place and give it a go. I do feel that the intimacy of the piece was key in the success of people joining, somehow it suited. Being alone while learning and practising meant you had to really get in touch with it and make it your own almost, I do believe the intent and personal expression will come through with each and every rec
  • Apr 3 2011: I love to sing in the car, in the shower, at family gatherings, at weddings and funerals. People tell me I have a nice voice, but before the Virtual Choir, I had never, ever in my 51 years sang as part of an organized group. It was harder than I imagined to learn a part that wasn't the melody, but I found the beauty in it, especially when I practiced with other singers on YouTube. I worked really hard on my alto II part and am very proud to be a member of this amazing choir. Thank you Eric, and my fellow Virtual Choir members!
  • Apr 3 2011: I have always enjoyed singing, in High school I was in ALL the Choirs but the moment I left High School I started doubting myself. There had been many times were I was told that I didn't have a voice that would make any money. Broken hearted I almost gave up on music. That was when I ran across Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir. Watching all these people sing brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things. So I waited till the next project. when that time came up I got nervous. To post a video of yourself singing and letting everyone in the world see it, no way.
    But I kept close on what was happening and listened to many of the other singers. I don't remember who's video it was but when I saw it I decided I'm going to do it. If this person can do it so I can. On the last day (before extension) I sat in front of my webcam and sang. After hundreds of takes, dozens of tears, and me being sick I finally came to a video that I liked enough to post. SO I did. And it felt great. So now I decided I will still being going to college for music performance and go on from there. I'm actually excited about singing now and I will never, ever let anyone tell me that I can't or won't be able to do what I dream.

    Here is my video- http://youtu.be/y-WWlo34IS0
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    Apr 1 2011: I'm a 23 year old college senior from North Carolina and have been singing in operas and choirs for the past four years. Choir has been a major part of my personal and musical life thus far, and I hope that never changes.

    As a fan of Eric Whitacre's music I stumbled upon his first big request for singers for "Lux Arumque", the project that took place before Virtual Choir 2.0. The final result of hearing all the voices mixed together -knowing that all of them are people I have never met, from all over the world- really blew me away; I knew I was a part of something special and exciting.

    So as many of us thought, the video captured a great deal of media attention and publicity. All of us that had sung in the video had joined a Facebook fan page in order to stay in touch, but all of a sudden hundreds of people were joining and asking how to take part in the next virtual choir. I'm still amazed that over 2,000 people entered... just, wow.

    Later this summer I'll be leaving North Carolina to attend grad school for a Masters in Voice Performance, but I nothing will come close to seeing the end-product of this work... and that's simply because there is nothing else quite like it.

    I feel very blessed and fortunate to have taken part, and I hope this video will spark a renewed interest in music and the arts.

    Here's my audition video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRjy_8HxIJA
  • Apr 1 2011: I've actually documented my entire Virtual Choir process here on my blog: http://thechoirgirl.blogspot.com/search/label/Virtual%20Choir
  • Apr 1 2011: I am a 35 year old Mom, wife, and English teacher. I was in school choir, show choir, county honor choir, state honor choir, and All Eastern choir in high school. I've performed in community theatre and college choirs, and direct my own church choir. I also sang with a contemporary Christan quartet until I had my daughter. I miss performing with larger, challenging choirs, so this virtual choir gave me the opportunity to do so from my own home in rural America while my daughter was napping! What an experience! I am so looking forward to seeing the entire final project! Thank you, Eric! (My YouTube channel is piedmontpresby.)
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    Apr 10 2011: I was in my music studio and preparing for that day's lessons with the usual weekday line up of students. Weary from some of the curves life had been hurling, I had become so discouraged over the months, and it seemed my passion and inspiration had long since boarded a train with a south bound destination. Then out of the blue, though I prefer to think it was a divine appointment, I was struck by something that I found on my computer that morning. I was immediately captivated. I read and watched all of the videos I could find on something callled VIRTUAL CHOIR and a man named Eric Whitacre. I attend a small church and we have a praise and worship band, so I was not up to date on choral music at all. But as I listened to VC 1.0 and LUX, I was smitten. This was definitely something I had to do. Simple, I thought. So when the time came, I downloaded the music and began practicing in my free time. I cannot believe it, but I have to say it is one of the most challenging things I have done in a long time. I must have recorded the piece 50 times before I got the results I felt I could release for the world to see, and still it was not at all something I was very proud of. However, time was running out. Worn to a frazzle, 10 minutes before the deadline had come and gone, my husband uploaded my video to Youtube, January 10, 2011. Undoubtedly, I must have been the last entry.

    Well, since that time passion and inspiration have returned. What an amazing and fascinating experience this has been for this teacher. I cannot explain it, but my motivation has been kicked into overdrive and many new and exciting possibilities are waiting for my attention. As a child, I learned a song that began with the words "It only takes a spark to get a fire going and soon all those around will warm up to its glowing...." I thank God for Virtual Choir, a much needed spark at this time in my life.
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    Apr 4 2011: I'm not a vocalist...not even close. I like to sing. I love Eric's work. My daughter, a gifted oboist, and I share the bond of his music. At least I didn't sing in the rests or rest in the sings. I'm moved beyond belief to be a part of this.
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      Apr 4 2011: You ARE a vocalist, in the largest online choir in the history of the world. You can take that one off your bucket list now. Well done!
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    Apr 4 2011: Summer....several years ago....Chautauqua Institution, an artist colony in the southern tier of New York.....our choir director extraordinaire Jared Jacobsen introduced a composition Lux Aurumque....and forever after I am changed....lifted to a higher plane....the intensity we all felt in performing this work was extraordinary. I am a singer....my Mom says I sang before I could speak. I have spent my life singing....college degrees.....music teacher....performing .....it has been so wonderful. I, like Albert Schweitzer, have found music....and cats...to be my bliss. I adored the Virtual Choir performance of Lux....it brought me to tears. I am now an Eric Whitacre....apostle...I sang in the Chicago performance of Paradise Lost:Shadows and Wings...I uploaded my video to Youtube for Sleep, VC 2.0 after much techno stress...I am an experienced singer and yet I had to practice and practice....and learn how to upload a video....no technogeek students to help me as usual.....god, I miss them...I have heard EW speak, I have sung his music, I am one of over 2000 who are singing in cyberspace...epic...in the exclamations of EW......WooHoo!!!! Much love to EW and my VC family xoxoxoxoxoxo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y49tLUbmDdk
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    Apr 3 2011: ok, this is pretty heavy. my husband died in 2004 under extraordinary circumstances and i was devastated. i had loved singing many years ago (at least 25), but i hadn't done it since then for many reasons. in november 2010 i went to a local chorale concert and heard the work of eric whitacre, with whom i was unfamiliar. i thought it was some of the most beautiful music i'd ever heard. went home and looked him up online. when i read about the virtual choir and listened to "sleep", i wanted very much to participate. however, it had been so long and my voice, never the best, was very rusty. but the more i thought about it, the more i wanted to give it a try. so i did. definitely not sharing the video because it just isn't great. the notes are correct, though, so i'm assuming i'll be included in the final take. but the most extraordinary thing about this is that i have rediscovered the one thing that makes my life worth living again. and that is singing. i've joined a local classical choral group and a local Episcopal/Anglican church choir and i am happy to be alive for the first time in a decade. i'm practicing daily and am actually sounding not half bad :). But it is because of Eric and his sincere desire for people to connect through singing that has brought me to this wonderful place in my life. And that's a very good thing!
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      Apr 4 2011: I'm so glad you joined us, Linda!
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        Apr 7 2011: and i'm so glad i met you, maria. your comments are so thoughtful and right on!
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      Apr 7 2011: Your story back to singing really resonates with me Linda. Grief and Joy go hand in hand with my relationship with singing, I lost my father suddenly when very young and music was a key part in my life then, it disappeared, it came back, it disappeared. I lost my mother suddenly in 2007 - I came across Eric Whitacre and the Virtual Choir via a wonderful women who had been visiting me regularly to listen and witness my journey through bereavement. I entered the Virtual Choir at the last minute, I practised many many times - I am now singing every single day :-) Another musician I know said that music has the power to fill the spaces between us and it surely seems to have done with this project, within it and beyond. My kindest wishes to you and your voice Linda
  • Apr 3 2011: I am so happy to be part of this amazing choir. Last night my choir here sang Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, and during it I thought of all the VC2.0 members all over the world; I have been lucky enough to sing in lots of choirs, but now, getting older, the notes don't float like I plan them to! I get turned down for the sort of chamber choirs that would do any of Eric's compositions now.
    A few months ago I was clicking away on the internet and found Eric's short interview on the Amazon page selling his works. I had Polyphony's recording, but there was the clip of Eric's choir singing it (some of whom I have links to), and I had the most amazing 'bliss' moment that took my legs away from me and it stayed with me for about an hour - it was incredible.
    So, when I saw that Sleep was the next piece for the Virtual Choir, I HAD to do it! Even though I knew I would (a) not sound very good in that sort of piece any more and (b) would really struggle with having to hear myself sing with the recording method, I went for it. It also was such an amazing thing to know that so many of us would be connecting all over the world through this opportunity - the real power of music, voice and song. Wonderful.
    Telling no one, I found a day just before I moved house and balanced my laptop on two stacked djembes (African drums), camera on tripod balanced on the kitchen stool, towel over the door behind me to hide the moving mess (!), packing case beside me to take the sheets of music silently as I finished with them - it was hard to clamber inside the 'equipment' to do the recordings!!! And the sound of my own voice was depressing - but the feeling I was, by my 'effort', connecting with so many people and going to be a part of this wonderful result...that carried me through.
    Now I am telling people - I daren't before when they could have heard my clip; they are all pro singers! And I am so proud to be able to say, "Yes, amazing isn't it - and I am part of it!!! And I cried at TED's ovation!
  • Apr 3 2011: I am 58 years old, always looking for a great musical experience that I can be involved in.

    After learning about Eric Whitacre's VC 1.0, I knew I had to participate in VC 2.0. It was an amazing experience. Learning and practicing Sleep was very enjoyable. Eric provided all items necessary for reading, listening, and support. The most frustrating experience in this were my multiple recordings, in a attempt to get the perfect combination of no background noise, and musicality. Almost every time I thought it was going great either a dog would bark, a phone would ring, children outside would start playing loudly, a UPS truck would rumble by, someone would ring the doorbell... Almost every time background noise cooperated, I would mess up singing.

    Finally, my last recording, everything went well. I always judge myself harshly, so I didn't think my recording would be used. IT WAS! Thank you Eric! As a matter of fact, my image is on one of the first large photo bubbles! I thought I would have to look forever to find it, and doubted that my image would even be used. Again, THANK YOU ERIC!

    This was an amazing experience. I have many friends involved in music and Bowling Green State University in Ohio, who wish they would have taken part in this. I am so glad I did.

    Again, THANK YOU ERIC!
  • Apr 3 2011: After I watched the VC-Lux Aurumque video I was determined to join the next project. My brother and sister liked it too so we joined forces and rehearsed a lot, trying to get the notes (and the breath) right and record everything.

    I allready posted this on the VC Facebook page, but I will tell in short what it was like to make a video for VC 2.0 Sleep:

    Take 1: We manage to get three headphones in one computer, have to adjust the audio output and then we start singing. My brother has a cold, he's fighting the snot that wants to come out of his nose.
    We sing very out of pitch, have problems not to laugh but we reach the end of the song...sort of...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJKt9fOksxM&feature=related

    Take 2: My brother starts laughing...my sister is the first one to regain control. I step aside too much and end up
    outside the camera view...And I sing the wrong note ("I cannot sleep my MIND 's aflight"), but I'm not aware of that...
    My brother is loosing his snot fight...it has reached his throat...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbXFe9xBJB0&feature=related

    Take 3: I have to plug in the headphones as soon as we hear THE BEEP. Because I am about to burst out laughing and desperately try not to I forget the headphones...my brother steps in. We start singing, it all goes pretty well, promising sounds and no laughter. Then my brother's snot problem kicks in...laughter kicks in too...eventually we manage to continue but again I step out of the camera view...and now my sister starts to caugh! And still I sing the wrong note...
    It looks like three drunk singers in a boat on a stormy sea...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4jdc7EwWdY&feature=related

    Eventually we all manage to record our own video!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/marjannana#p/a/u/1/-LlttarfQAA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBStJq1zrU0
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RowlfThePianoDog#p/a/u/1/rbET-lPYyn4


    We had a marvellous time! We'd love to do it again!
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      Apr 3 2011: I'm going to tell you again....I so love your story!
  • Apr 3 2011: I'm 16 years old. I live in a small town in Florida, where nothing ever happens.
    At my school, my choir director told us that we'd be taking a trip up to New York to sing in Carnegie Hall with Eric Whitacre conducting his choral version of "Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings". I had no idea who he was at the time, but I was just excited to be singing in Carnegie Hall. I've always wanted to perform in Carnegie since I could remember... who wouldn't be excited about that?
    So I looked up Eric Whitacre to see just who he was.
    I fell in love with his music instantly. It was so beautiful. So gorgeous. I had never in my entire life been so inspired and so breath-taken by such beauty.
    I had never listened to a song that made me cry out of pure... gosh, I can't even think of a word. But it's nothing bad.
    Whenever I was in his mass choir during the performance of PL, that was the happiest moment(s) of my life. Specifically during this song Bliss. I remember exactly how I felt at that moment. "If there be a paradise of bliss, it is this."
    I changed that night. As indecisive as I am, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life... classical music. Whether it's performing or composing it.
    So then! I heard about his virtual choir. That immediately caught my attention.
    And oh. My. Word. When I saw Lux Aurumque... So many people coming together to produce such gorgeous harmonies all as one, I knew that that was something I just had to partake in.
    I'm so glad I did. I am so proud to be in such a fantastic, inspiring project. I'm tongue tied when I try to find the words to describe my emotions and how exactly I feel about this...
    I feel a certain connection with all of these people, even if I don't know them. They have that love that I have, and I don't find that where I live.
    Thank you so very much, Eric Whitacre.

    It's a little rough, but I'm too excited about this project and the fact that I got to partake in it to be upset haha
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=700MH43VcVc
  • Apr 2 2011: I am a viewer who sings and writes music.

    I think Eric Whitacre should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his virtual choir projects. Can you imagine the protests lodged with the various international war departments? "Please do not bomb (country/region of choice), the soprano/alto/bass/tenor/etc. section live there."

    Blessings.
  • Apr 8 2011: I love music. I can't imagine my life without it. When I heard Eric Whitacre talking about his idea of Virtual Choir in September 2010 on the NPR show, I immediately knew I have to be a part of it. The idea of connecting with other people from different cultures, languages, religions etc. through music was so appealing to me. I spent a week or more singing my part almost every day to record the video properly. My neighbors were smiling when we crossed outside and I was thinking - it was all because of that fortissimo part at the end of the piece!! (The walls in our apartment complex are very thin)
    My husband, who was very patient during this time, couldn't stop singing my part for a while - he learned the dynamics, lyrics and everything! (Usually he is very reluctant to sing) It was so funny. Next time I will drag him in too :)
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    Apr 8 2011: Having become a fan of Eric Whitacre's choral music, two years ago I joined my Chamber Choir just because they were going to sing "Lux Aurumque" soon. Having seen the original Virtual Choir and loved it, I was overjoyed when I heard about the new one. I was so excited about having the chance to join in, I told everyone about it and tried to get them to do it too. But time went on, and although I learnt my part (and meanwhile sang it with my choir too!), somehow I just didn't get around to recording it - until the day of the original deadline, when I realised I was afraid - afraid that I wouldn't be good enough. I am so grateful to you for extending the deadline! I knew I had to get over my anxiety and just do it. I have to say the technical side was trickier than I'd thought it would be, and hearing yourself singing alone is very revealing! But determination set in and 3 days and many "takes" later, it was done. Not perfect, not even great - but OK - and I felt a HUGE sense of achievement. Thank you Eric, for giving people all around the world the opportunity to feel proud. xo
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    Apr 7 2011: Hi everyone! I got here late, but I'm doing my best to catch up with what's going on. I'm loving reading about you all. Your stories are wonderful.

    How I heard about Virtual Choir:
    In July 2010, while camping online with hundreds of Susan Boyle auditionees for 12 days past the promised winner announcement date, I found Virtual Choir 1.0 via Melody Myer's Susan's Search auditon video, and with awe and delight shared Lux Aurumque with my fellow squatters. It served as an inspiration for us to form our own virtual choir (SuBo), just for fun and open to anyone who auditioned for Susan. Melody's videos (i.e. Animal Crackers) led me to find out more about Eric Whitacre. It was a comment on his Facebook wall in December that alerted me to a second Virtual Choir project. I let SuBo VC know, hoping we could be one of the choirs represented, but only one other member managed to upload a video. Bravo for persevering, Corina Acosta!

    The brief on me:
    I’m ill, and isolated because of it. Fifteen of my 34 years have passed like this, but my dream is to share music with others. Virtual Choir gave me that opportunity. I’m stunned and deeply grateful to be part of it. Thank you, Eric and Team Whitacre.
    • Apr 17 2011: I am impressed with your virtuosity- in the fullest meaning: purity, power,nobility, honesty, I too have been ill all my life but now I am totally disabled w/stage 4 acute heart disease. So hang strong. You gave me a lift tonight when I truly needed it along with the choir. While I do not consider my voice a solo quality I have sung in many choirs since I was very young. I have even plowed through The Messiah and Brahms' Requiem. Because of you I am going to search out this next choir. Thanks!!
  • Apr 5 2011: I got involved in the Virtual Choir in the beginning when we did the Sleep experiment 2 years ago. I’d never sung any of Eric Whitacre’s work and I REALLY wanted to. The Sleep experiment was difficult because there was no conductor, we sang from the Polyphony recording, and I only had the alto part. I spent an entire morning doing take after take. Lux Aurumque and this version of Sleep were so much easier because Eric was conducting and I had the full score.
    I live in a large city and sing in a number of choirs and I’m surrounded by a lot of really good musicians. But none of them could really understand WHY I wanted to participate. And the criticism was more along the lines of – and I’ve heard this often about the Virtual Choir – it’s not the same as singing live with a conductor and other singers. And that’s completely true. I certainly didn’t get the same rush – I didn’t get any rush! I was too nervous. You have to sing your line like a solo and just IMAGINE the rest of the choir singing along with you – except they’re not. There’s no one to cover for you if you mess up, and you know that if you actually get a good take, you’re going to upload this to youtube and anyone in the entire world can listen to you. My answer to my critical friends at the time was: Well, why not? It’s not detracting from my experience of singing in a ‘real’ choir because I have that anyway. This is just something new, different, exciting and challenging.
    And about that missing rush? Well, I got something similar when I heard and saw Lux Aurumque and Sleep 2.0 for the first time. Not quite the same of course, but how often can you be in the audience of one of your own performances? And how often are we as amateur, semi-professional and even professional singers able to bring the beauty and power of the human voice to a potential audience of millions? With Sleep, people from all over the world have created something FOR people all over the world!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9gqGuNY3tE
  • Apr 5 2011: My 16-year-old daughter and i both participated in this. She has been given the honor of singing the Eyze Sheleg solo in the Five Hebrew Love Songs in both the Georgia Regional Girls Choir and the Cherokee Chorale; that is how she became familiar with the works of Eric Whitacre. She then did the ol' "let me do all the Lux parts on my garage band thing "and then found out about the first virtual choir which was recorded and released by then, and she was sad she missed out. I got an email from our chorale about the Sleep project and we both decided to do it, and now i am humbled by the results. When i saw the TED clip, i cried, as many others commented. But, i cried because this is such a wonderfully visual medium for a young teen to see that they are part of a whole world that can work together for something extraordinary. Her dream job to sing around the world, well she got to do it with one small video clip! Thank you so much.
  • Apr 5 2011: I live in Argentina, and I've been singing in choirs since I was 7. I'm 26 now and I can say that this experience was wonderful: knowing that I would be part or something as big and vast as the internet, and as music that will last a life time, is awesome. This is what makes the internet feel like something real, something that is formed by real people, who love beauty and music, and who can come together to form something amazing and expectacular like this. Thanks Eric!
    Mariana, soprano 2, Argentina
  • Apr 4 2011: Breathtaking, beautiful Music and an idea, that a mere 20 years ago had made us feel like being beamed direktly into Star Treck...
    What is there not to love? Being connected - and though it´s "just virtual" this connection feels pretty real - in peace with people all over the world through one of the most beautiful expressions that exist: music!
    I knew I had to be member of this the minute, I saw "Lux aurumque". Even bought a videocamera then, just in case there´s going to be a VC2!
    We singers are thoroughly thankful towards Eric Whitacre for his wonderful music and his initiative, to create something bigger as the sum of just 2000 singers. And though I´m still holding out to listening to the VCSpleepchoir in unwavering impatience (a mere 84 hours and counting...) I´m sure, all listeners will do so as well!
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    Apr 3 2011: When EWVC relaunched, I registered my choir, and I keep persuade my choristers to submit, however, no video until 29 Dec, (maybe they are not interested in the autographed CD? LOL), and the deadline is approaching.

    We had our performing tour in Guangzhou during 29 Dec 2010-2 jan 2011, we have a free night on 30 Dec. A singer suggested, "why not shoot for EWVC tonight?" So, here we go.

    It's not an easy task, because of the poor internet service of the hostel and the famous internet-restriction in People's Republic of China-- we CANNOT access to YouTube.

    A singer and I spent 2 hours for seeking a place covered with network, and then breakthrough the internet blockade by the Chinese government. To save time, we even didn't check email, right after the downloading of the materials, we rush back to the hostel.

    I never see my singers as hard working as this. They keep practise, and get used to Eric's conducting in group with the several notebooks provided by the singers.

    However, only 5 clips made till 4am. It's painful, but I asked them to stop, while all of us know that even we insist to do, we cannot make any good take in such exhausted condition.

    31 Dec, we moved to another hotel, which mainly serve business men, so there is a very good internet connection (both wired and wireless).

    The first thing I did (and I guess all singers who brought notebook too) was checking email while we didn't do so for 2 days already! Then I found an email from EWVC:

    *****Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - Deadline Extension*****

    What a GREAT NEWS to us!

    Therefore, we continue our works after we back to Hong Kong. As a result, 11 singers submitted 22 clips! We are the ONLY Chinese choir joined this project, and we are the THIRD in the world!!!!

    This clip is a memory of our 11 singers' passion on singing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zDHUj-aa08

    Enjoy!
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    Apr 3 2011: I'm 22, I'm an italian(Messina) singer/musician/student of architecture. I sing in a choir, "the
    Mirabili": we are a group of crazy people that love poliphony and try to do better and better everyday with hard
    work and passion. We are all under 24 making music in a self managed way. I have heard of Eric Whitacre during a
    vocal workshop in Milazzo(Messina) with Gary Graden; after I have discovered Sleep and the incredible experience of
    Virtual Choir. I was shocked by the Virtual Choir 1.0 Lux Aurumque video: incredible charm and magic, people so physically far and at the same time so close, singing all toghether. Everyone was singing alone but at the same time toghether with a lot of other people in the world. Gorgeous! I wanted absolutely to know more about Whitacre, about VC and I found out I could have the opportunity to partecipate to the Virtual Choir 2.0. The idea was fantastic, innovative, charming, in particular for me: I live in a town in which the poliphony hasn't got very importance; here I have not many possibilities to sing, because there isn't attention, culture, cure for choral music. There aren't many theatres, music halls and associations that are able to host and attract big music events. For me being a part, a little part, of this experience was great. I could make contact with Eric Whitacre, with his music, with a big number of people that, like me, love singing in a choir. I had a chance to look away, and to feel close people that sing and live on the other side of the earth. It was incredible. Without internet, without Virtual Choir, without Eric Whitacre, without passion and love for music, this couldn't be possible.
    So, the only thing that I want sincerely say is: thank you.

    ps: forgot me for my grammar mistakes!

    My VC videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ2W8ClR4nc SOP II
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sQMQj1wwuU ALTOII
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sieIiL-4vJA ALTOI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG-gAMtSA5E MY BLOOPERS
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      Apr 4 2011: Brava!!! Ci serra una traduzione del video TED in Italiano!
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      Apr 7 2011: Well said, Silvia. =) I particularly like the last 5 lines.
  • Apr 3 2011: I was so excited when I saw the Lux Aurumque virtual choir on youtube. It was stunning!I was immediately interested in trying to sing as part of the next project if there was one. I was also a "starved" singer! My last major choral experience was in 1995 when I was part of a wonderful 12 voice a capella ensemble. Since having kids and a busy husband, I found it very difficult to find a choral opportunity that fit my schedule. When the 2nd project was announced, I downloaded the music and started to dust off my vocal chords!

    In recording the piece, it was such a much more exposed experience than singing in a non-virtual choir. It was hard to settle on a recording that I deemed good enough. I took some comfort in the fact that my voice joined more than 2000 others and hoped it would sound awesome! I'm thankful for this great and long overdue choral experience! I loved the TED talk Eric Whitacre gave and the little glimpse of the choir was inspiring!

    My video submissions (with still "dusty" vocal chords are below):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrIcnbNSjms
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_4SHu7B-SE&feature=related
  • Apr 3 2011: I was introduced to Eric's Concert Band music in 2002 with his rising work, October (I was in my HS band). It was a really cool work, but it wasn't until Lux Aurumque (winds)was released in '05 that I started becoming interested in his vocal works (as he had released the vocal version 5 years earlier and I was curious as to what it sounded like). I listened to one piece, and the more I heard the more I wanted to hear. I've now heard most of the things he's written and I would say he's probably my favorite composer. I had sung with choirs before, but sadly have never had the chance to perform any of HIS music for voice in a choir setting...until the Virtual Choir!

    As a fan, I followed his projects very closely, posted occasionally on his BCM and personal fan forums back in the day, and was there when he started his blog around 2007. I remember reading the 'OMG OMG' status on his Fbook feed, and watched the rough first incarnation of the Virtual Choir come together (but didn't participate; just thought it was really cool). Then he did the real thing with Lux Aurumque (VC 1.0). I watched the vid on Youtube the day it came out (It had like 2,000 views when I first watched it.....then it went viral and now it has over a million views!).

    After seeing how big that video had become, and that the VC community was all talking about wanting to do another video but BIGGER than before, I definitely wanted in!

    I was a big time procrastinator, and almost missed the deadline, but then he extended it, which I knew was great for the Students (HS, College etc.) who wanted to use Winter Break to compile their video. I printed out the Bass 1 music the night before the Jan. 10th deadline. I first learned it on Euphonium (my instrument) to get the notes in my ear, then I started rehearsing with an MP3 of 'Polyphony' performing it. Then I recorded.

    It's so cool finally getting a chance to perform his vocal music for the first time!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuadkhGgLek
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    Apr 3 2011: I majored in music, but couldn't get a job in the field in the 1980s. I enjoy singing, especially a cappella, and have been lucky enough to join two small groups recently; one mixed sextet and one group of seven women. I do miss singing in a large a cappella choir, however, so I was really glad to learn of the opportunity to be part of the "Sleep" virtual choir. I had sung and heard some Eric Whitacre pieces and loved the first Virtual Choir video. I had never tried filming myself singing, so my video is definitely not professional, but at least I managed to get one could take without the dog barking in the background! As some others have mentioned, the biggest challenge in singing this alone was to try to stagger breathing when there was nobody else to stagger with! Can't wait to see the final product! http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=djalleta&aq=f
  • Apr 3 2011: I sing with a local choir and had the wonderful experience of singing "Lux Aurumuque" and "Water Night" several years ago. A friend sent me the link for the virtual choir of "Lux" and I was stunned by the way it moved me. All of those people, from different parts of the world, young and older, singing by themselves and yet together. It was glorious and I wanted to be a part of it!
    Actually going through the process of learning, singing and recording my part for Sleep was arduous. I found myself in tears and feeling like giving up - listening to my voice, watching myself on video felt like torture! But I wanted to be part of this joyful, worldwide project so I kept at it and finally submitted something that felt acceptable.
    As a teacher, I am always learning new things along with my students. Being part of the virtual choir helped me to learn new things about myself.
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      Apr 3 2011: ....and Giulietta...also through this great project, we met each other and made friends!!
  • Apr 3 2011: I'm 54 and have sung for as long as I can remember - at home, at school, at church, in various choirs. I'm reasonably competent, in an amateur sort of way, and people seem to like what they hear. I currently sing in the Reading Bach Choir here in the UK.

    I heard about the "Lux Aurumque" Virtual Choir project last summer, and was totally blown away by the whole concept, both musically and technically. I was too late for that one, but when I heard that another was being planned, I was determined to be a part of it.

    I downloaded the music, bought the CD and started practising. I contacted some friends I hadn't sung with for 25 years to see if they wanted to get together. I learnt it so I could concentrate on the musicality and engaging with the camera. The most difficult bit was not being able to stagger breaths, as you can do when you are part of a "real" choir, and some of the phrases were very long. Any breaths had to sound deliberate.

    And then there was the technical aspect. I had never recorded myself on the computer before, and I had to do that while watching a YouTube video. I completed 8 takes, not counting the ones I stopped part way through. But I finally uploaded on Tuesday 28th December 2010 - and then they extended the deadline!!

    This project has meant a huge amount to me. My wife died of cancer in November 2009 after a 17 month battle. She was 56, I was 53. The choice of "Sleep" was so appropriate. She's not there to hold at the end of a long and busy day, and in the morning she's not there to smile at in anticipation of a bright new one - but whilst I'm sleeping there is at least the possibility that I may dream of her, of us together, as if it were all back to normal. I have had such dreams over the last year and a half, and it's what makes the nights bearable. "What dreams may come, both dark and deep?"

    Thanks to Eric and everyone involved in this project.

    My video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZGqHG-qChc

    Stuart (AgeingTenor)
  • Apr 3 2011: I'm a 26 year old doctor from Sydney, Australia, and I've been singing for as long as I can remember.

    It was April/May 2009, and Sydney Chamber Choir (the choir I sing with) was preparing for the Tolosa International Choral Competition. I was looking up videos of previous choirs from around the world, and I came across a video of the Hungarian choir Cantemus singing Sleep. That was the first time I'd ever heard Eric Whitacre's work, and it was a moment when my life changed. The harmonies I heard were soaring and divine, and the music was searching, weaving through all the barriers of space and time and reaching out to me. I quickly discovered Eric's blog and that was around the time he first found Britlin's video. The first virtual choir video we did was actually of "Sleep" without Eric conducting, recorded from everyone following a recording of the work sung by Polyphony, a UK choir. I remember when we were trying to get more than eight voices per part! I recorded a soprano II part for that very first recording (as there were already so many sop Is) and it was an honour.

    When that first video came out, we knew it was something amazing and special. That first video is no longer visible on YouTube.

    I missed Lux Aurumque as I was travelling, but I re-recorded the Sop II part for this upcoming version of Sleep. And from my quiet little corner of the world, I've had the pleasure of seeing our little choir grow and grow, and so many young singers from all over the world benefit from this wonderful experience.

    I am humbled to be a part of this choir.


    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAOSmYiQr7g) Original Sop II, Sleep (June 2009) for the very first Virtual Choir project
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLbuvZciK04) My video for the latest project.
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      Apr 3 2011: Hi Wei, as I told you before, I used your original Sleep video as my guide...even converting it to an MP3 file and uploading it on my iPod. Thanks so much for this and for your friendship. We live at complete opposite ends of the world and yet I certainly think it is within the realm of possibility that we will meet in person some day. : )
      • Apr 5 2011: It was lovely to 'meet' you through this project Julie, and I think we will meet someday too! Have an absolute blast at Lincoln Center! x
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          Apr 6 2011: Thanks Wei. We have an all day rehearsal in NJ tomorrow with an evening concert concluding the day. It will be our first time singing all the music all the way through and also the first time without the scores. Thursday after work I am going to the premier of the VC in NY, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we have rehearsals with Mr. Eric Whitacre himself...and the concert is Sunday at 2:00. I am the luckiest girl around right about now!
  • Apr 3 2011: I'm in my mid-40s and hadn't really tried singing after college glee club, about a quarter century ago. I had seen Lux Arumque online, and I thought it was a fabulous idea, but I didn't think it had anything to do with me. Then the honors choir at my son's school did Sleep at a performance I saw in the Fall. I was blown away by the music, and when the conductor mentioned that the composer was a kind of Internet sensation, I Googled again and found out that Sleep was the subject for VC 2.0.

    That's when I thought it would be worth trying--even if I failed, as I expected to. (I figured there would be a tight audition process, so either I'd give up or my contribution would be rejected.)

    Learning the music was hard--my reading was never good. Thanks to the many Bass Is who shared their videos. I kind of liked the way my voice sounded, but my breath control was terrible. I had to remember not to try to learn it all in one section. So, I wasn't very good, but it felt like it was coming back.

    If you haven't done this, you might think you'd get bored with a piece by singing it over and over again. The opposite is true...it really comes to inhabit you. My family joked about my "obsession."

    I haven't sung since college for a number of reasons, but one is that it just wasn't convenient to get together with a bunch of people on a regular basis -- I travel for work a lot. It's so amazing to be able to do be part of this choir and community! Sometimes when I travel, I sync a few parts on YouTube and sing along. (Sorry, people in the next room.)

    I'm so pleased the finished product sounds the way it does, and I'm very excited to have been a very tiny part of it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlP0GUBNCo
  • Apr 9 2011: I'm what you call a "TCK" - a "third culture kid" who grew up in a country not of my or my parents' national identities. I was born in the Philippines and lived in Indonesia for my entire childhood, and well into high school. I also now live in a completely different country altogether! Nevertheless, choral singing has ALWAYS been a huge part of my life and my worldview... aside from it being where I learned about notes & singing techniques, it's where I began to appreciate music from all over the globe. We were all from different countries, and it's where I learned to be at harmony with everyone around me, help & support others, learn my part and do it to the best of my ability, and listen. The world music we produced was always phenomenal for every member of our international family.

    Singing in the virtual choir was indeed a different experience, with its own brand of musical challenge, but the end result is still the same: the international, global family is still in awe of us all coming together in this new & brave & dazzling way, making beautiful music AS ONE. The social & musical engineering of this project is breathtaking and moves me beyond tears. Here is the paragon of the Indonesian crest of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ("many, yet one"). Here also is the embodiment of Filipino bayanihan (communal spirit). And now from where I am in New Jersey... we're livin' on a prayer!
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    Apr 8 2011: I haven't been able to participate in a choir since graduating from college in Fall 2002. Having had my hands (and voice) in multiple styles of music from renaissance to rock my entire life, having toured the US and led worship nearly every week at churches for the past twelve years, I always came back to choral music. I nearly became a high school choir director, but the prospects were leaning further to being a glorified homeroom teacher rather than a director and educator of music, so I continued with the other career track I was on, which was also in music. I love what I do, but the extent of my career activities haven't allowed any time to get involved in a choir again. I found the link to the first Virtual Choir on YouTube barely two weeks after the video launched and was heartbroken that I wasn't able to be a part of it. After sharing the video with pretty much everyone I know, I found the Virtual Choir website and saw that v2.0 was in the works. I immediately made checking the website part of my daily routine to make sure I didn't miss the deadline this time. In spite of not having rehearsals together (which is one of my favorite parts of the choral experience), it was incredibly refreshing and nostalgic to be a part of a choir again. I'm honored to have been a part of this, and I certainly hope to participate in future endeavors!

    My video submission: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEU-AFCXA_I
  • Apr 8 2011: I grew up having a grandmother who was a school choral director for many years, an aunt who was also a school choral music director, another aunt who sang opera and was the executive director of two very well known choral ensembles, and musical parents. I don't remember a time when music wasn't ingrained into everyday life. Being in a choir was always a very important part of myself, and I've been involved in choirs of all sizes. Singing with other people to make one unified sound has always intrigued me, because we can't make that sound alone. Our adult auditioned choir here is about 40 voices, the largest was a 180 voice symphony chorale in the Pacific Northwest. I thought that was the largest group I would EVER be involved with. How wrong I was! The Virtual Choir 2.0 experience was definitely life-changing. It brought together so many people from all walks of life, all over the world, into one cohesive but evolving unit. I am still in awe. My friends are in awe. My family...it has affected everyone who has realized what this is.
  • Apr 7 2011: VIRTUALITY, a real thing, and a NEW WORD.
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    Apr 7 2011: Part 2 of 3

    I _loved_ working with a skilled conductor. Eric knows what he wants and leads with clarity. He also has a talent for connecting with his choir. You see, the experience didn't cease when I uploaded the video of my vocal part. Through social media, I've been noticed and validated. I’ve conversed with a music professional who generously allows me access to his knowledge and his friends. I've asked for advice and shared in online music experiences with others.

    From my lonely place on the planet, I've become part of a universal, ongoing musical event. My health might limit my physical journey, but the internet has opened the world to me. I'm amazed and blessed to be given this opportunity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geEm94ULVSQ
    http://www.Songuine.blogspot.com
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    Apr 7 2011: Details while I wait...

    Hi from Narelle Worboys
    New Zealand
    an unlikely choir member, thrilled to have gained admission to this stupendous party!

    Part 1 of 3

    I have a health challenge that complicates vocal sound, range, and control. I'm not strong enough to be part of a real-time choir. Real-time socializing is rare. My parents are the only people I see on a day-to-day basis. (Now and then townspeople say to me, "Where have you been all these years?") Virtual Choir gave me the opportunity to IGNORE all these things! Making music is my dream. Because of broadband internet, I can pursue music education and experience while I wait for my body to be freed.

    I wasn't affected by the northern hemisphere snow storms in December, but not having heard about the project until early December, the deadline extension meant I had enough time to memorize my part, figure out how to make my equipment work, find a day when my voice would work, and nail a good take. I couldn't have done it without the extra 10 days. I freaked when my lighting system clunked twice on my best take, but hooray for Tony Piper who promptly emailed back to me that this would not exclude me from participating.

    The music was difficult, requiring control and dynamic flexibility that stretched me. I struggled, supposing this piece was something that 'normal' singers handle with ease, but at the same time I revelled in it being ‘the real thing’. Worried I wasn't good enough, I paid close attention to the details in the sheet music and Eric's tutorial and conductor videos, and I studied other member uploads to gauge my progress.

    To be continued...
  • Apr 7 2011: I had never heard of the Virtual Choir, nor Eric Whiitacre, until my friend - a singing teacher- told me about them. Well- I became hooked - listening to Eric's music, learning the Alto2 part for 'Sleep', and just marvelling at the use of technology for communicating and sharing the joy of music! VC 1.0 had me in tears. I'm a retired (only 57!) uni lecturer in technology & web management - and - OMG - I wish I'd had this to show to my students. I also sing in a choir and started learning piano & theory at the grand old age of 41. Music has become my lifeblood. After my husband's funeral in 2002, I just sat at the piano and carried on learning a Bach piece for an exam. What a saviour! Having recenltly retired (my husband & I worked together & i couldn't stand the space he had left any longer), I have been a bit 'lost'. I've moved 4 times in the last 3 years.

    The VC has given me a purpose in many ways. Apart from contributing an alto part (not v. good tho' ...), I feel part of a like-minded community, and I have a deep, deep satisfaction at the use of the Internet for bringing together those who love music - especially singing. Eric Whitacre is a true pioneer as well as a superb composer. He is a giant amongst giants, such as Ted Nelson and Bill Gates. In the UK, he should be 'knighted' for his contributions to music and the use of technology.
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    Apr 7 2011: (Part 2 of 2)
    If you remember how this started, this project is even more amazing. One sweet voice of a nervous Eric Whitacre fan and aspiring composer named Britlin inspires the world class conductor to do this, and now that "one sweet voice" is one of our many, hopefully inspiring the world.

    Our audience to come is an audience of millions (check out the "Views" for "Lux") worldwide.

    Also, live you can't sing more than one part at a time, in this forum, we could do more than one thing (I covered the Tenor parts).

    I will say that despite being a last minute addition, it's awesome to know that I made it and that I'm excited to see the final result, and I will close with part of something I wrote just after I wrapped up my postings in the final hours (10:30 pm EDT on the last day) to try and inspire whoever may be reading to just go for it:

    "Anyone who's been in a live choir knows that it's not about one person (and everyone makes their mistakes), it's the collective, and we've got around 2,000 parts over who knows how many people, so there's a good chance no one was perfect alone, but together we're perfect."

    Among the coolness of this project were the people who appreciated my words to whoever may be reading.

    To Eric Whitacre for directing this, Britlin Losse for inspiring this whole concept, and to my fellow members of this "perfect" choir... thank you.

    After I recorded for VC 2.0, I went back and watched the "Lux" video again, and I have to ask... if you're a singer, especially with choral experience... how could you watch and listen to that and not want to be a part of it?

    Watching that for the first time after joining this effort and knowing that this is around 2000, not just over 200... how can you not be awed and humbled?

    It's amazing that this project has caught the attention of TED, NPR, PJTV, and millions of viewers. I already know that the next Virtual Choir Project will be amazing. I can't wait for the release of VC 2.0, It's going to be great!
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    Apr 7 2011: (Part 1 of 2)
    How I came across the "Virtual Choir" project was thanks to a program called "Trifecta" on PJTV.com where they featured part of the "Lux Aurumque" edition of the project during a segment where the commentators took a break from their usual political talk with a tinge of snark and celebrated three wonders of our modern world (another part of the segment included this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1L4GUA8arY (the air traffic of the world over 24 hours).

    The next time I came across VC was when I saw that they were doing it again on Eric's website on the first day it came out. Oddly enough, I was part of the last minute push.

    Anyways, when I saw the "Lux" video, I loved it and wish I had known about it and been a part of it. If "Lux" comes around again (maybe to see what it looks like with 2000 voice parts), I hope to be one of them.

    I am practically a 26 year old lifelong singer who's been a part of a choir, band, or I was learning music in some way throughout. It's not something that's my calling, but it is something that I love to do. If you can speak, you can sing. Lately I've been a part of my church choir and praise team and have lately been bless with the opportunity to be a soloist at my modest sized church.

    While the downside of VC is that we aren't live together learning this to perfection with personal direction, the exchange is that our choir isn't just those in our community and neither is the audience. Our choir is composed of people from nearly 60 countries from the absolutely amazing to those who simply have the guts to do this. I'm somewhere in the middle where I love music and have some talent to do it, and that's just fine. I've seen some of the videos of some of my fellow singers and it's amazing to sing with talent that I otherwise would've never been connected with.

    Here are my two contributions to the project:
    Tenor 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpPCo1M76uw
    Tenor 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TReqat75Z28
  • Apr 6 2011: I love to sing even though I don't think I have a very good voice. The first Virtual Choir, Lux Aurumque, blew me away. I had never seen anything so beautiful or moving on the internet. From that moment, I became a fan or Eric Whitacre and was hoping for the opportunity to participate in the next VC event. When the launch of VC 2.0 was announced, I was ready. Even though I doubted I would make the "cut", I was going to submit an audition anyways. I was even more encouraged to realize that all who participated by uploading a video would be included. The music for "Sleep" was challenging. I worked really hard at rehearsal. When I finally felt ready, I began recording. I made over a dozen "takes" until I produced my best effort. It has been uplifting to be a part of this world-wide collaboration. Here is a link to my YouTube audition:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFhQCNkMnJM
  • Apr 5 2011: Major excitement, chats with friends, hours in front of the computer learning lines, finding camcorders, practicing, practicing, take after take after take, charge camera, take after take, collapse, sleep. Dream the damned melodies, get up, take after take, SUCCESS! No, need another take, another take, SUCCESS!
    Upload, feel proud, more chats with friends, go back to computer learn second line, practice, practice, borrow camcorder again, practice, practice, see deadline approach, feel stressed, take after take after take, SUCCESS!
    Upload, feel DEAD proud and happy to be such a part of such an ephemeral, non corporeal yet perfectly tangible and open, welcoming community.
    Chats with friends, look at third line, look at deadline, give up!
  • Apr 4 2011: I started singing publicly when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I just loved singing. I never thought one way or the other about whether or not I had any talent until I auditioned my freshman year for the school musical. They kept auditioning me. Next thing I knew I was being put into the top choir. I did not get a part in the musical outside of just chorus. Still, I had so much fun, that to explore more "fun" and I auditioned for some pro-am community shows and the same thing happened. Next thing I knew I was in the shows as the youngest "cast" member playing an adult chorus part. In high school came Regional and All-State competitions, more school musicals and community shows. In college I went to study music to be a choral teacher and discovered I am right-left coordination challenged. Conducting would probably never be something I could pass let alone master and lead others. I realized it was the joy of making music happen with others or by myself, be it on stage, in a chorus, or alone in my living room was where my heart was. I have been singing since I was 3 or 4 and I am a grandmother now. I have performed Mr. Whitacre's pieces in the past and my current choir, Cantilena (Arizona) is planning more in the future. My dream would be to come to one of his workshops but have not yet been able to make that happen. From the age of 3 or 4 to now I have spent a lifetime singing for the pure joy of it. VC was a joy to participate in. Digital/virtual is new and fresh and cutting edge. I can't wait to see what is next?
  • Apr 4 2011: I've been singing all my life, and in choirs for the majority of that time. "Sleep" has personal significance due to a college performance. A dear friend of mine was in the bass section and I was in the first soprano section. We would always look at each other and burst into laughter during rehearsals. It really made choir worth attending (moreso than the required attendance from being a music major).

    This dear, beautiful friend took his own life in 2003. I remember being in my house after his funeral, scrubbing the bathroom floor while listening to music, and sobbing, my face soaking the tiles, when "Sleep" came on. I could only think, "Man, he was always so loud at this point", and how I'd give anything to have him back in my life.

    I dedicated my performance (under "NorahCam" on youtube) to my dear friend Matthew, and know that had he been alive, he would have been all over this phenomenon.
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    Apr 4 2011: I started singing in choirs when I was 11yrs old. This afforded me many opportunities to trot the globe, taste victory at Eisteddfods, perform for Nelson Mandela & friends... all while doing what I enjoyed most - making music (what a blessing!).

    Unfortunately, these experiences were enough to inflate my ego too. I started believing I was invincible & took on far more than I could handle. Then I lost my singing voice due to laryngitis (okay... due doing the school musical with laryngitis) & the abuse my poor vocal cords had endured over the years. Now my voice is a lot huskier than it used to be & I find it more difficult to pitch etc. It's been frustrating & difficult trying to get used to this "new" (it's been 6 years now) voice, so i've never stuck it out in any of the ensembles/choirs i've joined since then.

    I chickened out of the Virtual Choir twice before (Ah! So wish i'd done "Lux Aurumque" - it's a favourite of mine!), but finally plucked up the courage to record a video & submit it this time around (the day before the extended deadline, after much "backwards & forwards" & neurotic Facebooking)! Yay! It may not sound like much, but it's a real confidence-booster, being able to participate a project with a composer whose music makes my heart soar whenever i hear it... I mean... I hear Whitacre, and instead of the bitterness that's peppered my responses to Classical music since 2004, i'm left feeling a certain inexpressible something. And now, through the EWVC, i get to share (& make!) that something with over 2000 other passionate people!

    Hehe... The choir bug has bitten again! I've just found a new singing teacher & am hoping to join the our university choir next year & start taking music seriously again - but I'll check my ego at the door & sing because I'm passionate about it!

    Here's my tiny part of the phenomenal whole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SejpHf7AVc
  • Apr 4 2011: Hi, I’m Carolyn McQuillan from Massachusetts, United States. I had the good fortune of being in the 2010 Massachusetts All State Chorus, and it was there that I realized just how much I love music; it is more than just fun and pretty – it really moves us all spiritually. There’s something about all the people in the room striving for the same thing: to crescendo up to the powerful climax of a piece or swell harmonies together that is really incredible, and there’s nothing like it in all the world. No amount of money can buy what music creates, and the Virtual Choir allowed all 2052 of us to share our love of the greatest thing in life, even though we’ll never meet face to face. Thank you so much to Eric Whitacre and everyone involved in the process. I can’t wait for Thursday!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzWJ-44Ds8o
  • Apr 4 2011: I am very proud to be a member of the Virtual Choir! I have been singing in my local church choir for the past 5 years, and I love to sing! Several months ago, my mom showed me Eric Whitacre's Lux Aurumque video, and I thought, "I would like do that!" As luck would have it, Eric was planning for Sleep! This is such a wonderful way to share beautiful music with people all over the world!
  • Apr 4 2011: Eric's music and "Sleep" especially demonstrate the ability of music to touch your soul and move you to tears. I saw VC 1.0 Lux Aurumque and knew I absoutely had to be part of 2.0. When I found out that this would be 'Sleep' this was a done deal, there are few pieces of music that touch me the way this piece does. Feel very proud to have been part of such a project and can't wait for the challenge of 3.0! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhiW4_EtlYw
  • Apr 4 2011: I first saw the Virtual Choir 1.0 on YouTube, and immediately felt that this was something I had to be part of, or I would regret it for the rest of my life. I adore choral music, and I sang in a choir when I was a teenager 30 years ago. However, owing to a disability (I have Spina Bifida), I am no longer able to stand for long periods of time, making it next to impossible to rehearse and perform in a live choir. A Virtual Choir is a wonderful way to get back into singing again. Although my contribution is less than stellar, I'm proud of the fact that I took the time and courage to do this, and I want to be part of any other Virtual Choirs that may come my way.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uLwaqm0log
  • Apr 4 2011: I sang in choral for many years when I was younger, and am heartened by the incredible Virtual Choir that Eric Whitacre created in his very first attempt at this incredible concept. The depth of sound, and knowing that singers from so many places around the globe, some I have seen and lived, others not, ... left me speechless and near tears. Virtual Choir 1.0, ... You are amazing. Pioneers in a joyous new activity for mankind. Virtual Choir 2.0, ... You have a high hurdle, but the preview snippets at TED were incredible, visually, and musicologically!

    My ears and heart are younger than my voice, and I have the patience to wait another week to hear and see what you have created, Eric, and the over 2050 musicians who comprise this amazing voice of art and humanity.

    Thank you! Perhaps I can tune the pipes to be a baritone in the next choir. Until then, ... Thank ytou all!
  • Apr 4 2011: I have been singing in choirs since I was a kid, it's always been a part of my life until recently. Between work and kids, choir is just not a commitment I can make right now, and I miss it terribly.

    I heard about the Lux Aurumque video through a friend and was so excited to see someone doing this sort of thing and I signed on to receive updates from Eric's blog so that if he did it again I could be sure to be part of it. A few years before I had had the pleasure of singing Lux Aurumque in a community choir I belonged to; it is such a beautiful piece.

    When the announcement for Sleep came out and the music was released, I wanted to take some time to rehearse, so I didn't hurry to get my video done and submitted, but I should have! I ended up getting the winter crud and I was unable to sing at my best for a couple of months. I recovered enough to get my video done and submitted on the day of the deadline!

    I am so excited to be a part of this choir, it's given me a connection to a part of myself that I had thought I would have to ignore for a few years. And it's amazing to be a part of such an incredible group that spans the entire globe. I teared up when I saw the result at the end of Eric's talk.

    I'll be brave and post my video here, although, perfectionist that I am, I wish I'd done a few more takes (I was running out of time!):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB31QRv-qSY
  • Apr 4 2011: I remember when Eric Whitacre first posted his idea for a virtual choir project. Everything began with Youtube video from a fan; that's all the inspiration Eric needed to start his project. I always wanted to submit a video and never did. Virtual Choir 2.0 has been a wonderful opportunity for me to sing with 2,000 other people and become a part of global phenomenon.

    The Virtual Choir presents an amazing chance for people to connect. Regardless of our occupation, race, gender, or location, we are connected. People who have never met are able to meet and interact. It isn't just a matter of technology: it is the human spirit finding power through music.

    What a dream to share with the world.
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    Apr 4 2011: Well it's time for me to add my piece. It's so wonderful to read all the wonderful comments from the choir... my choir!!!! Well i guess it's really Eric's choir but I think that the choir members understand what I mean :)

    I feel so close to each and every one of the choir members. I had never even heard of Eric Whitacre until my chamber choir performed Lux Aurumque at their Christmas concert at the beginning of December 2010. I was researching the music (yes I"m a bit of a nerd in that respect) and stumbled across the virtual choir video on You Tube and Eric's biography. I then ordered Eric's CD "Light and Gold. I was instantly hooked!!!! I signed up for Sleep and practiced and practiced. After many takes and a bout with the flu I finally settled on the best one. Certainly not great but I ran out of time as I was leaving for the UK to spend Christmas and New Year with my father who is very sick (I live in Canada). I might add that I ended-up buying Eric's CD as a Christmas present for my Dad and brother when I was in the UK and they both loved it. I haven't been able to stop playing it since. My favourite track..... The Stolen Child. If you haven't bought it yet - I highly recommend it.

    I loved every minute of this experience. Many thanks to Eric and all the other members of the choir. It's been incredible! I would love to meet you all one day! I will not be able to make it to New York on Thursday as I have to work and can not get the time off (it's a 10 hour drive from Toronto area). I will however make sure that I'm home by my webcam so please send me the instructions so I can witness it live and be a part of it!

    As all the other brave souls are listing their You Tube videos I will do the same...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDZXXWs8x7A

    Kate :)
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    Apr 4 2011: Yeh! He used my sphere idea. Thank you for listening, Eric.

    I was a dancer, actor, comedian, presenter by trade. Basically everything but singing. I decided to join Honeybees Gospel Choir in 2001 when I moved to Sydney as I had retired from performing and wanted a bit of a creative outlet.

    New Year's Day I was feeling a bit flat, opened my email to find a fellow choir member had recommended Eric's project. The perfect pick-me-up!

    I spent about an hour learning it and did several takes. I have found since, when I listen to the song or when I sing it, my whole body vibrates - like shivers up your spine... but all over. It's a magic piece of music and a great way to lose all the talk in your head before meditation, if you need it.

    I've loved being a part of this project and keenly look forward to the next project!
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    Apr 3 2011: I met Eric while he was at UNLV, and I had just returned from law school. Many friends who were still studying music at the university became Eric's "pick up" choir whenever he needed to hear what a chord sounded like...usually in his venue of choice, the bathroom. When he left to do his graduate work at the Juilliard School, I knew he was at the beginning of a very successful journey. His passion for choral music grew exponentially.

    I had the privilege of singing under his direction several times while living in Las Vegas. He is a masterful conductor. Every wave of his hand draws immense emotion from his singers. I never had to guess what he wanted from us. It was truly an honor to be present at the beginning of his choral career, and I've followed his progress ever since.

    When he announced the Virtual Choir project, I was giddy. Although I waited to submit my part for "Lux Aurumque" until the last minute, I knew I had to be part of this massive project. When the "Sleep" project was launched, I was stunned at the enormity of it. Watching the numbers increase at a faster and faster pace as the deadline approached was a wild ride. It was similar to watching the returns on election night...I was riveted to my computer. When the deadline passed, and the final submission count was released, I knew my world has just gotten a bit smaller.

    Thanks, Eric, for letting an old friend tag along for the ride.
  • Apr 3 2011: I also want to encourage all Sleep singers who no longer sing--start again! There are community groups and congregational choirs all over the world. Go! Go now! Your beauty is inside you--let it out!
  • Apr 3 2011: I've been a participant of the Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir since its inception, and I must say that every time I get a huge thrill from being able to participate in something that I am most passionate about: choral music. The experience of performing individually has proven to be of little challenge to me as I've always been comfortable singing solos or in solo situations, although the stories of others not feeling the same way comes to me as a surprise. However, I do acknowledge the fact that it is actually challenging to come up with a video worthy of submission!

    I have always been involved with choral music throughout my grade school years, having participated in honor choirs and All-State music festivals, and have loved every moment of it. During my college years, I have never been involved in choral music as my studies had me too busy to find time to do the one thing I really enjoy. That was not until my graduating semester when a great friend recommended me to give it another 'hurrah' and get involved with the campus's elite choral group. Suffice it to say, the moment I showed up to the first day of that class, I finally realized what I've been missing out on. For the past 5 years, I never really lost my talent. It was awe-inspiring the little time I had with the group, but it was such a renewing feeling nonetheless, and it reminded me of what I shouldn't have taken for granted all this time.

    While I'm no longer physically involved in a choral community today, I credit my ability and privilege to get involved in such a project to Eric Whitacre's inspiration via Britlin Losee. Since then, I've made several wonderful virtual friends through such a wonderful community, which is growing all the time, and the possibilities continue to amaze and inspire me every time. Through this aweome project, I really like how I'm connecting with people worldwide, although I may never get to actually meet them in person. All the credit goes to Eric Whitacre's brilliant mind!
  • Apr 3 2011: I was so excited Friday night, returning home late, to find a flurry of messages on voice mail and email about Eric's TED talk. It was indeed an amazing experience and a privilege to be a part of this incredible international community of singers performing his beautiful piece. It was a very emotional experience hearing the result and seeing myself, fleetingly, appear in the first 2 minute preview of Virtual Choir 2.0 He is right. I truly do feel a connection now to all those strangers – mostly less than half my age by the looks of them!

    I had sung ‘Lux Arumque’ and ‘Sleep’ with our chamber choir and loved both songs. This was different and much more challenging, not least because of the steep learning curve recording myself on a computer entailed! Overcoming the astonishing number of technical difficulties involved in producing even one acceptable recording with neither mistakes nor extraneous noise took many attempts. But I did it in the end, submitting the final version only two hours before leaving for a six week trip to Europe and Africa.

    Thank you Eric Whitacre for not becoming a rock star!
    Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this Global Community of singers.
    Good for you marketing yourself the way you do, making full use of today’s communication technology and sharing your music with choral junkies all over the world.

    Keep composing and sharing your music.

    Best wishes from ‘north of 60,’ the home of Ice Road Truckers and Ice Pilots – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.
  • Apr 3 2011: There's a 19th-century hymnbook called the "Sacred Harp" because the compilers knew the human voice was a sacred harp. I feel that way too, and I was thrilled to join these thousands of sacred harps together in one effort.

    Singing connects people. I am connected not only through physical space--joined in this effort with others from all over the world, but also through time. "Sleep" has been performed for the past several years, so when I sing it I am joined with those who have sung it before and will sing it again. If I sing "Amazing Grace," I'm singing with people back over two hundred years and well into the future. If I sing the words of any Kyrie, I am singing words sung to God for over 2000 years, and with those who will be singing it long after I am gone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFdrCOMy6tA
  • Apr 3 2011: When I first heard about this project, I became extremely excited. I had heard the piece Sleep before, and loved it, and had been disappointed because I knew I would never be able to sing it in choir during college because it had already been done during my time here. I was thrilled at the opportunity, and was literally counting down the days to the project. I even had it in big bold letters on my calender. As the time grew near for us to start recording, I had auditioned for Concert Choir for the third time, got another no, and I felt heartbroken. I was almost to the point where I didn't want to sing anymore, because I felt I would never be good enough. That semester during the audition period I was in the lowest ranked choir on campus, I found out that Concert Choir was going to perform The Seal Lullaby, which I was dying to sing, and I auditioned again for a fourth time, only to get that fourth no. There were so many slaps to the face vocally that semester, I began to wonder why do I even bother anymore. I hadn't found the time to record my video till Christmas Break, and by then I almost didn't record at all. How could I, a failure, deem myself worthy to record and join voices with the hundreds of people around the world with so much more talent than I?
    But this project reminded me of why I love singing, it allows you to become surrounded and filled with music, connecting you to all others that participate. And sure, we aren't all singing together when we record, but eventually we will be given the opportunity to hear all of us together, and we'll be able to say, I was a part of that, something I did made a difference in a piece. And I think we'll all be better for this project. When I saw my video pop up on the world map, and my name on the list of participants, it gave me the courage to keep going, to keep singing, to want to grow more as a vocalist. This project gave me hope, may it do the same for you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BpaJy10ymM
  • Apr 3 2011: I have always believed that music has the power to create a community. When I left home at 18 and moved away to start a job in a new town, it was joining an amateur operatic group that helped me make friends. Years later, moving to a new town, again it was music that helped me to make friends, particularly as our choir is part of a community music festival that was established in 1905 by Vaughan Williams and is still going strong today. VW wanted everyone from the workers from the fields to the Lords of the manor - there should be no social barriers when you're making music together.

    As I work from home, using Facebook is like going to the coffee machine. Having a chat with friends online and chipping in to the Virtual Choir chatter, is an important part of my day.

    Singing solo terrifies me, but I was determined to overcome my fear and do a recording for VC 2.0. I recorded in secret when my husband and son were at Sunday football. Unfortunately, bad weather meant that I couldn't make another recording, so I'm stuck with a sharp top A flat! I still have to confess to my family what I have done. It could be tonight that I do that....

    My heartfelt thanks to Eric and the team for such a great opportunity, not just to sing, but to connect with Eric and singers from around the world.
  • Apr 3 2011: I have to say, what an amazing experience this was. To know that you are connecting with people all around the world to sing one beautiful song is just amazing. To know that there are people out there that care enough about this project to put their time and efforts into creating such a work of art warms my heart. Being a member of several choirs over the years, I felt the joy when my group would hit an amazing harmony or a beautiful melody together. WIth this, so different, knowing you are part of a choir, but eventually, and now you are singing a solo. I cannot wait to see how all of us put together sounds! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgAqlBkAidI
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    Apr 3 2011: I've been one of those very few who have a part of this Virtual Choir since the very VERY beginning. And even from its infancy to what it has become now (in all its glorious splendor), it is something I hold so preciously to my heart. Because for the first time, I'm surrounded by people who actually care and who make the music come alive with the use of their voice and presence on camera.
    I never thought for once that I would be good enough to be considered in anything, let alone something of Eric Whitacre's - someone who I admired so greatly. Years of rejection were taking its toll on my confidence and my willingness to even try. But even though my negative mind was telling me 'No, don't join this. You're not good enough', my heart was shouting, 'You're not a quitter! You can do this! You must!'. So after my long internal struggle, I finally decided to be a part of the next project 'Lux Aurumque' - knowing that this time it would be more serious than the first "tester" of 'Sleep'. And after the final video came out, I was in tears. It was so beautiful I couldn't even speak. After all that nonsense of telling myself 'no', I'm finally glad that I was able to tell myself 'yes' and was able to be a part of something this stunning.
    But I have to say the best part of this was not just sharing a musical connection with people, it was making a much closer connection with people who I had never met (until last year in New York). They are still some of the most brilliant, talented and charismatic people I know to this day. I'm so grateful to say that I know them.