#WATWB We Are the World Blogfest Third Anniversary Post on March 2020 – Not So New Choir

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Cover of Eric Whitacre’s album ‘Light & Gold’.  Picture source: youtube.

It hardly seems a month since we were last here with a We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest post.   Our co-hosts this month are…..

Sylvia McGrath,
Damyanti Biswas,
Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

They would love for you to hop on over to their pages.  Actually we would all love you to hope over to their pages and other pages on the #WATWB as well! Especially because this is our Third Anniversary!

We live in dark times.  Hiding in our bunkers, we are trying to slow the spread of the dreaded corona virus, aka COVID-19, while specialists work hard on a vaccine. It requires a team effort of being together while apart.  What a paradox!  Debates flow as chatter disputes whether it is social distance or physical distance that we are really calling for.  At #WATWB we live from physical distance but are highly connected socially.  Some of us have been swapping posts for years!

What I share this time is not really new.  It isn’t really a news story – in the news agency or network sense – but it, I think, a great story.  It is a story about creativity, about linking people from all over the world while they remain where they are. It is about bringing many voices together into a harmony of one voice.

I’m talking about Eric Whitacre and his Virtual Choir.  Whitacre was born in Reno, Nevada (USA) in 1970.  His journey with music began with the piano.

But, to hear more about the Virtual Choir, I’ll let Eric’s website fill us in.

Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronised and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir.

It began in 2009 as a simple experiment in social media when one young woman – a fan of Eric’s music – recorded a video of herself singing “Sleep” and shared it on YouTube.  Moved by the video, Eric responded by sending a call out to his online fans to purchase Polyphony’s recording, record themselves singing along to it, and upload the result. Eric was so impressed by the result that he decided to push the concept to the next level by recording himself conducting ‘Lux Aurumque’, asking Virtual Choir members to sing along to that and the first Virtual Choir was created. The VC has grown from 185 singers in VC1 to more than 8,000 singers, aged 4-87, from 120 countries in VC5.

You can read more about it here. What a great way to bring voices together even for people who are physically far from each other.

STOP PRESS: Susan Cain has found the Colorado Symphony Orchestra doing something very similar. Oh joy! Pun intended.

And also the Couch Choir  Cheers!

Instead of a poem this time I’ll leave you with a Bill Staines song “Place in the Choir”.  This version is from Celtic Thunder.


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