Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, Live at TED 2013

Eric Whitacre is a world-acclaimed composer and conductor. His Virtual Choir project began in May 2009 as a simple experiment in social media, when Britlin Losee; a fan of Eric Whitacre’s music; recorded a video of her singing “Sleep” and sent it to Eric.

Mesmerised by hearing her sing he put out a call to other singers to join her in singing, recording and uploading them to YouTube. Scott Haines stepped forward and offered to cut them together to create Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 1: Lux Aurumque.

The experiment was so successful that Eric has since gone on to create Virtual Choirs 2 and 3, with Virtual Choir 4 rolling out in April of 2013. Skype empowered Eric to take his virtual choir even further as he conducted the first live Virtual Choir at TED 2013.

No pre-records or editing required: this was a one-take performance. Eric conducted a 100 person-strong live choir on the TED stage plus a live Virtual Choir of 30 people, performing live from 28 countries around the globe. Each of the Virtual Choir streamed live through Skype in real-time on the main stage large screen.

For the choir members themselves, Skype Video Calling has meant that their experience has advanced unequivocally, from one of a solitary event to an unforgettable, group achievement.

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