Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 31, 2013.

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Virtual Choir has grown beyond our wildest dreams and we can only make VC4 with your help.

For those of you who don’t know about the Virtual Choir, the concept is pretty simple. Singers from around the world upload their videos. They’re singing alone in their living rooms, their dorm rooms, their garages; we cut all the videos together and start them at the same time to create a Virtual Choir. Somehow it all comes together and we’re making music as one choir.

The idea all began with a single video from Britlin Losee. She uploaded a beautiful video of herself singing the soprano part to my piece, Sleep, and it sparked this idea in me: ‘what if we could get 50 people from around the world to do the same thing’. So I uploaded a video of me conducting and people started sending in their submissions. It worked. The original Virtual Choir had 185 singers from 12 different countries and it went viral. Since then the phenomenon has continued and exploded. We’ve been featured on news items all over the world, we premiered VC2 at TED and the most recent VC3 had 3746 videos from 73 different countries.

We are thrilled and honored to announce that the Virtual Choir has been invited to present VC4 at the Coronation Concerts in July at Buckingham Palace.

Believe it or not, VC3 alone cost us way more than $100,000 dollars to make. The cost is divided into three main categories:
  • First are the video technicians who sort each submission, catalogue them and edit them. Each video we receive is accepted so there are plenty to get through. 
  • Secondly there’s the audio team who clean up the audio, isolate it and remove background noise, and mix our choir together. 
  • Finally there’s the team who make the gorgeous final film that we know as the Virtual Choir. 

We will be working hard to make the final music and film as good as possible, but the beating heart of Virtual Choir is the community, the family, and this is what we want to enhance more than anything. We aim to improve every process, beginning with the user experience. We want the music to be easier to learn and the teaching to be more global. Secondly, we want to improve the technology itself so that we capture each video better, cleaner and more efficiently. Finally, we want to evolve the community itself so that it’s easier to connect with each other. It’s not only about the music making, but to find people in your area or other parts of the world who share common interests and the same love of choral music.

I don't know if it is spiritual, physiological or psychological phenomenon, but I believe now more than ever that singing is a universal, built-in mechanism designed to cultivate empathy and compassion. As we prepare for Virtual Choir 4, I hope that more people from across the globe will support and join our fun, loving group, made up of every sort of personality, nearly every nationality, and a group bound together by a simple vision: to be a part of something larger than themselves. Thank you!


Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The single greatest risk is the unknown number of singers that will take part in Virtual Choir 4. Since everyone is welcome to join the Virtual Choir and every video of sufficient quality received is used in the final film, creating a full budget before submissions are received is not possible.

Audio-visual synchronisation has been our biggest challenge. The technology to edit in large batches is limited, so it is a largely manual process. The hours spent by engineers editing the audio and video are proportional to the number of videos received and this carries a large cost. The unknown number of singers also affects the creative for the final film and the amount of work required by the production team.

Alongside this, there are costs in creating the infrastructure to capture singers' videos and in developing the Virtual Choir community.

This Kickstarter campaign is being run in association with DCINY / Soaring Dreams.

FAQ

  • Absolutely not. All singers are welcome, regardless of whether you are able to contribute. And remember, there is no audition to be part of the project. If you make a video, you're in the choir.

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  • Before we can open the submission period for the Virtual Choir, we need to raise the funds to make it happen. Once we have met our target, we will be able to develop the infrastructure to capture singer's videos. At that point, we will share further information regarding the timescale, how to access and learn the music, and how to submit your video.

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    Thank you! You get both the satisfaction of being part of this amazing project, Eric's gratitude and that of the whole Virtual Choir community. Your name will be credited on the Virtual Choir webpage as an official supporter. Exclusive to Kickstarter.

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    Digital presentation of the making of the Virtual Choir including photographs, musical sketches, lyrics, artwork, anecdotes and foreward from Eric. Exclusive to Kickstarter. (Plus credit on website).

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    A personally signed copy of 'Water Night', Eric's second album as both composer and conductor, which features seven world premiere recordings and performances from the Eric Whitacre Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann. (Plus digital presentation and credit on website).

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    1 dress rehearsal pass for the ‘Sing with Eric’ performance at Carnegie Hall on March 24th, 2013. Including signed concert programme with the chance to meet and chat with Eric at the end of the rehearsal. This event is presented by DCINY. Backers will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and concert ticket. (Plus signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website to follow in August 2013)

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    1 dress rehearsal pass for the performance on 18th March 2013 at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD on the Eric Whitacre Singers US Tour. Including signed concert programme and the chance to meet with Eric. The EWS Tour is presented by DCINY. Backers will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and concert tickets. (Plus signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website to follow in August 2013).

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    One page of handwritten sheet music of the piece of your choice. Handwritten, personally signed and dedicated by Eric. (Plus signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website).

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    Bespoke, silver unisex tag (jewelry), beautifully enscribed with the word 'Bliss' for use on chains and keyrings. Exclusive to Kickstarter. (Plus signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website).

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    2 dress rehearsal passes for the performance of your choice on the Eric Whitacre Singers US Tour, March 2013 (Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, New York). Including signed concert programme and the chance to meet with Eric. The EWS Tour is presented by DCINY. Backers will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and concert tickets. (Plus signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website to follow in August 2013).

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    Eric's backstage pass from the 2012 Grammy awards. This is the pass used to collect his first ever Grammy - Woo hoo! One of a kind! Exclusive to Kickstarter. (Plus VIP Underwriter, signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website).

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    Baton that Eric used to conduct Paradise Lost at Carnegie Hall, New York and certificate of authentication. One of a kind! Exclusive to Kickstarter. (Plus VIP Underwriter, signed sheet music, still, digital presentation and credit on website).

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