Voices of the World: Virtual Choir 2.0

I was excited all day.

Feeling like a little kid waiting for a beautifully wrapped big present, I waited for the premier of Sleep, Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0 project. You see, I wasn’t waiting for the virtual choir video as an audience, I was waiting for all of my fellow choir members.

I had every intention of submitting my video before the end of December (2010) due date, but that month got the best of me. After school was out, I was so worn out and feeling sick, I gave up on learning the music or taping my singing.

But due to a bad storm in Europe, the submission date was extended by 10 days! When I read the update, I caught a second wind. I was determined to get this done and participate.

I had no idea that I would be one of (over) 2000 voices.

While learning Eric Whitacre’s eight-part music I was reminded of the days when I realized singing breathed a new life in me (a pianist). These were the days when the power of human connectedness through singing became so real to me. We didn’t need words – we were a group of singers working to interpret music with every ounce of feeling, thought, and intention.  

Although the process of “choir” was different, people were brought together. Over 2000 people’s singing captured in a moment (like a time capsule) gently layered in beautiful sounds. It’s not perfect – but my choir sang with feeling, thought and intent. Besides, who says the goal of music is about perfection?

What this experience has shown me:

  • {Holy cow!} I’m listening to a lot of musical people singing.
  • I’m listening to many generations of good singers.
  • And I’m listening to hope. I’m listening to individuals who embrace other people and communities way beyond their own culture or race.

The role of contemporary composers are changing. I’m grateful that Eric Whitacre had a vision to bring people together this way. Thank you, Mr. Whitacre!

I thought it was rather cute that my students kept asking me if I “made it” on Virtual Choir after I told them about how I got to submit my video. I had no idea if all the videos would be accepted, so I just told them I had to wait. Coincidentally the 8th graders who had shown most interest in this project were in class last period today. We talked about the premier and listened to Eric Whitacre on this post. They listened with anticipation.

When I see them next, I will play this video for them. I am thankful that I can share this project with them. I am grateful that I can make music everyday with them.

Enjoy this video. Hear the words being painted in phrases. See the world come together.

My hope is that you will take music with you. I cannot imagine life without it.

~Yoon, so grateful and feeling so alive. See you at Virtual Choir 3.0!  In case you’re wondering – I sing my part (soprano 2) every time I watch this video. 🙂

Sleep, poetry by Charles Anthony Silvestri

The evening hangs beneath the moon

A silver thread on darkened dune

With closing eyes and resting head

I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow, safe in bed

A thousand pictures fill my head

I cannot sleep my minds a flight

And yet my limbs seem made of lead

If there are noises in the night

A frighting shadow, flickering light

Then I surrender unto sleep

Where clouds of dreams give second sight

What dreams may come both dark and deep

Of flying wings and soaring leap

As I surrender unto sleep

As I surrender unto sleep


Here’s the livestream of Eric Whitacre at Paley Center on the night of the premier  (April 7, 2011):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

World Premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir…, posted with vodpod


For laughs – here’s my video


10 thoughts on “Voices of the World: Virtual Choir 2.0

  1. So very exciting to read your post and to watch the video. It makes it even more touching for me to know that you were a part of this whole project and it reminds me of when I first started tweeting and we both tweeted back and forth about Eric Whitacre’s first virtual choir experiment! So glad that you took part and that you could share it with your students 🙂

    Thank you.


  2. Hello, Yoon! It was nice to chat with you on MusedChat last night! This is sooo remarkable that you got to do this! My son and I had watched the virtual choir video several weeks ago (he LOVES Eric Whitaker), and we were amazed. Congratulations on being a part of it! You did a great job!

    It’s so nice to connect. Will keep in touch!

    God bless,

    TK Goforth

    1. HI TK,

      Thank you very much! It was a fun experience.
      I’m glad we’re connecting through #musedchat & blogsphere.


  3. Hi Yoon. Glad my friend sent me this post. What an awesome experience for you – wish I had known about it. Maybe next time. I had just posted about Sleep on my blog.

    Wishing you a song in your heart,
    Miss Leslie @ Music with Miss Leslie.com

  4. Hi Yoon,
    I am listening to your beautiful voice as I write this comment. Congratulations for creating this video and joining that incredible virtual choir. I am so glad that I shared the Virtual Choir video with Miss Leslie and she, in turn, told me about you. If only everyone could sing together, in harmony. Life would be so much more pleasant and peaceful.

  5. What a wonderful project! Singing truly is such a community project – voices blending together to create something new never heard before. I developed a teacher Glee Club here at our school and it was incredible to watch teacher who never talked during the school day building such a warm and inviting environment for each other to share their voices. And to do this all virtually just expands our community even further – so excited that you could participate in this!

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