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Virtual Choir 5 Community Forum

Meet the Choir. Why did you join Virtual Choir 5?


Hi everyone. I have signed up from Tehran, Iran. I am a vocalist and I sing in the Tehran Choir.
We were practicing Eric’s Water Night. One of the members of the choir, sent us a link from youtube and that was about Eric’s virtual choir (TED Talks), and I watched that, after that I followed Eric on Instagram.
Few days after that, Eric posted a video and said the virtual choir 5 is now live!
I really got so excited! I signed up a day after that! :smile:
That was all the reason I joined Virtual Choir 5. What a pleasure!


¡Hola! mi nombre es Jepthé Hernández Flores.

Soy de México, es la primera vez que me uno a Coro Virtual. Estoy emocionado, porque es la única forma de participar en un proyecto de Eric Whitacre, esto se debe a que me encanta la manera de componer de él, las disonancias brillantes que usa y armonías fantásticas.

Actualmente estoy en el coro de la iglesia La Luz del Mundo, donde a veces se canta con más de 1000 voces y en muchas ocasiones de varios países cantando al mismo tiempo. Gracias a ello, he ido aprendiendo sobre la música coral.

¡Un saludo a Eric, al mundo y a mi comunidad LLDM!


Hi All
I’m from Denmark,. We are singing Fly to Paradise in the choir and as I normally do, i try to practise by listing to the music on youtube. I loved the song, and I wanted to be part of the next VC right away.
I wanted to be part of something that unified people from all over the world, createing a unique feeling of “togetherness”…(probably not an english word…)
Trying to record with 5 kittens playing in the room was a bit of challenge though. :-):thinking:


Yes, those pancakes were delicious!
And wow, what a coincidence with the Real Group! They seem to have traveled a lot lately :smile:


Hi. My name is Derek, I’m 26 years old, and I live in the United States. Growing up my parents were always playing music. I later found out they, before having myself, brother, and sister, were heavily involved with singing. Whether it be weddings, funerals, or in the worship team at church. One night in 1998 my parents recorded andrew Lloyd webber’s cats film on PBS. My siblings and I would always replay the VHS tape. At the time i didn’t know anything about musicals like I do know. Fast forward a few years and I found the 2004 film version of Phantom of The Opera. I watched it one time and decided I wanted to be in choir. I had no idea that film taught me how you could experience happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust from one movie. After i graduated choir I happened to stumble upon Eric Whitacre’s Sleep virtual choir video. Every hair stood up on end as I listened to it. To be apart of this now is the most exciting, and privileged experience as it is my first virtual choir. Eric Whitacre thank you for letting any person whose of any age be a part of this. As long as Eric Whitacre keeps coming up with ideas, I know I will want to continue to be apart of this.


I know you.


Hi I’m Marcia Tollefson from Washington DC. OK - no politics. ARGHH!! Living in DC is tantamount to playing the game “Pie In Your Face” 24/7. Non-stop politics here. I’m a business owner. Architect. Swimmer. Love music and art. And laughing. I sing so my head does not explode! I’ve met some amazing people through VCs. I don’t really remember how or when. I just know they are salt of the earth people whom I care for and hope our friendships last for many years to come. There is an awful lot of good in the world. Music is the universal language which brings us together. I look forward to meeting you!


I think it was my sophomore year of high school when I first heard Eric Whitacre’s piece Sleep, although I’m not entirely sure when during the year that was. The first time I heard the song, the music gave me chills. The amount of emotion that was conveyed through the piece was astounding. It was what I wanted the music I sung to feel like. It was beautiful. When you sing, you aren’t singing notes or words or phrases; you are telling a story. You are communicating something to whoever is listening. I remember at some point during that sophomore year sitting in my choir class and listening to Sleep with my classmates. Maybe that was the first time I heard it - I can’t remember. I do remember that during that class was when I realized that I wanted to be a part of a virtual choir, no matter how long I had to wait or what would be happening at that point in my life. I was determined - it was going to happen, I was going to be in a virtual choir.

I told my classmates and my choir teacher that I would keep everyone updated on when the next virtual choir would happen. I subscribed to Eric’s mailing list and waited. Eventually, I got the email saying there was going to be a new virtual choir.

To say the least, I was ecstatic! :smile:

For the record, I am a singer, and I’m going into music in college. Music is really important to me, and I know that will never change, no matter what life will bring.

~ Emily


Hello there! My name is Saoirse and this is my first time participating in a virtual choir!
I’m a huge nerd and in my spare time I enjoy writing and singing covers on YouTube! Singing makes me incredibly happy, so I try to sing as often as I can

I heard about Virtual Choir 4 from a friend, and the video moved me to tears. The idea of people from all over the world coming together to sing on such a gorgeous piece was just awe-inspiring to me. Everyone sounded so beautiful together, and I could feel the connection that drew everyone to music. I knew that the next time a virtual choir rolled around, I wanted to be apart of it. So here I am!
It is such a pleasure to be able to sing alongside you all, I can’t wait to see the final video!


I’m Alexandre from Brazil. I play Accordion and Sing in a Band, Forró Style.

Thank you Whitacre!!! You are a genious!


Hello All!
I am Jeff Schmidt from Waterville, ohio USA. I have sung bass 1 and tenor on each of Maistro Whitacre’s Virtual Choirs except the first. It is a great experience and exciting to belong to such a vibrant community! Thank you, Eric!


So I first heard Eric Whitacre speak about his Virtual Choirs at the Florida Governors conference. Amazing! I signed up and got an email about Virtual Choir 5! I am a singer and this was not to be missed! So glad to be a part of it. So exciting!!!


My name is Anthony Smitha. I am a baritone, living in WV, performing with various choirs, most notably, the Suspicious Cheese Lords. I sing a lot of early and Renaissance polyphonic music and I specialize in Gregorian Chant. I have tried my hand at composing choral music, but I have a lot to learn…

In order to expand my horizons beyond just choral music, I am also a stage actor, performing in both musicals and cabarets, and I am a member of a family-friendly improv comedy troupe called The Fools!, based in Manassas, VA. I am an IT guy by trade, which pays the bills. Yet, I still have time for all of this, and my wife still loves me. I am very blessed!

I was introduced to Eric Whitacre’s music a few years ago when I was asked to sing in a choir singing This Marriage for a wedding, but with my focus on early music, I didn’t pay much more attention to his music at the time. I was reintroduced to his music recently, and after listening to everything I could get ahold of, I found his virtual choir and really wanted to see what this was like, so here I am… :smiley:


I am a Soprano 1 from Singapore. I got introduced to Virtual Choir 4 and instantly fell in love with it and wanted to be a part of it.


Angie, I was born in Halifax! I live in Ireland currently, but was back a couple of years ago to visit family in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Truro. :slight_smile:


Well done on creative problem solving to get the recording done! Colleen :smile:


I didn’t look at the forum when I was recording my part, but I felt the urge to connect with other singers now that the recording is out. Isn’t it just gorgeous?! So amazing to be part of this project.

I was born in Canada but have been living in Ireland for the last 13.5 years. I did the usual thing of singing in the school choir growing up and sang in the university women’s choir as a mezzo-soprano when I was younger. I really love folk singing, so I have been doing that off and on as a hobby for many years, both in Canada and in Ireland. I am also a perfectionist and ended up developing a phobia about singing in front of even one person. I was stuck until I found Sacred Harp singing about 8 years ago. That freed me up to make mistakes and not be perfect, so I can sing in public again, at least in a group.

I had seen the earlier virtual choirs, and I just loved them and the beautiful soundscapes that Eric created with his team and the singers from all over the world. I was thinking of trying to audition, but I was scared to do it because you had to do video as well as audio, so I missed VC4. This time, I decided I needed to face my fear and do the audition for VC5. Eric’s team certainly made it easier by providing the conducting videos to follow along. However, there were so many technical challenges: getting a better webcam, getting a new microphone, making my black background, and then recording over and over to try to get a decent version for both audio and video. I was frustrated that my voice wasn’t strong enough for the top notes of the soprano part, so I ended up recording the alto. For fun, I tried the tenor and bass, but I didn’t submit those, because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with unsuitable recordings. Even though it took me ages to get a recording I could live with, I did it! I was so pleased, and even if I never manage to find my face on the film, I’m happy to be in the credits and to know that I’m part of the collection of voices making up the incredible, atmospheric sounds of the choral part of Deep Field.

I love the film, it’s reminded me of my interest in space and astronomy, and the images work so perfectly with the composition. It’s been a real joy to watch and listen to the film and recording over and over. Thanks to everyone who was involved in this project. It is just an amazing achievement.



Olá! Tudo bem com vocês?
Sou brasileira e este é meu primeiro Virtual Choir. Eu sou coralista e cantora solo. Estudo música desde criança. Música é minha paixão, um cano de escape para momentos tristes, e um alto astral para momentos alegres. Para todos os momentos da minha vida existe uma playlist no celular e um monte de partituras para cantar e tocar no piano.
Me inscrevi no Virtual Choir porque além da minha paixão por música acho o coro fantástico e incrível.
É um prazer enorme está com vocês! Mesmo que não nos conhecemos pessoalmente, já tenho todos como amigos, companheiros da mesma paixão, a música.

Beijos para todos!


Hi Bob,
Ralph Brown from Bell Labs 4ESS here. I just “discovered” Eric’s VCs the last few days. I am very excited to learn someone I knew contributed to the powerful Fly to Paradise video!

I still remember you playing McArthur Park on the piano at one of the Bell Labs events once - awesome!

I hope to find a VC to contribute to before I get too old. I’m only 62 now but the voice isn’t what it used to be…

All the best -

Ralph Brown
[email protected]


I have an alternative for VirtualChoir5 which is where you will get proper assistance on various tools.