9 Reasons to Create a Virtual Choir
Unless you have been living under a rock this past year – I wouldn’t blame you if you had – you are probably aware of the current craze over virtual choirs. With rehearsals, performances, and social gatherings being cancelled or adapted to a virtual setting, music-making has taken a real hit in 2020 and 2021.
Virtual choirs have come to the rescue, and for more reasons than you may think! Here is a quick look at the process:
- A leader organizes the virtual choir project by selecting repertoire and rounding up excited participants.
- The participants learn the music, and record a video of themselves performing from their home.
- Participants submit their performances to an audio and video editor, who will then create a beautiful cohesive masterpiece.
Not only are virtual concerts an excellent solution to the constraints of Covid-19, but they grant absolute freedom to a music director or community with a vision.
With examples from our partner, Auri Productions, here are nine reasons why a virtual choir is an awesome project to pursue in the pandemic and beyond.
#1 Participants can be located anywhere in the world
You may imagine that folks performing in a virtual choir together are simply social distancing within a 20 mile radius of one another. While this may be the case for some, it is hardly the limit. In fact, there is no limit! Berklee College of Music students performed “We are The World” after being sent home due to the pandemic. Stick around for the end credits; you will be blown away by the geographic diversity of this group.
#2 You can have a guest performer who you would otherwise not be able to include
Featuring the legendary soloist Melissa Manchester, accompanied by players of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, “Let There Be More Light” is a great example of this benefit. The cost of flying out, accommodating, and compensating a guest performer is unachievable for most ensembles. With virtual choir as an option, groups of smaller means could realistically invite a special guest to join them in performance.
#3 You can easily add instrumentalists to your performance
If you are a choir director, you have probably experienced the hassle of including an instrumentalist in a performance. With virtual choir, including an instrumentalist is no more of a hassle than collecting a video from them. The violinist in “We Return” is such a beautiful (and trouble-free) addition.
#4 It is an excellent way to debut a new composition
Starting at 4:38, Meira Warshauer included a virtual choir in the debut of her composition “Place These Words”. This project includes live-video elements shot by our friends at Auri Productions, which is just another example of the creative flexibility virtual performances allow.
#5 You do not need a maximum or minimum number or performers
A virtual choir can consist of one to infinite performers. One person can double the melody, record harmonies, and play instruments. On the flipside, hundreds of people can be included in a video, as balance can always be taken care of in post-production. This is an example of three performers creating a full ensemble by recording multiple parts each. The director of Auri Productions is singing the lead on this one!
#6 You can combine different musical ensembles and communities into a massive ensemble
Whether it be an All-State or All-County choir, or a collaboration between two or more communities, virtual performances are perfect for these circumstances. “Lecha Dodi” includes 15 leaders from distinct Jewish congregations, as well as instrumentalists without association to these places of worship.
#7 You can add storytelling elements that would not be possible on a stage
“Hayom T’amtzeinu” included a speech from the mayor of Chicago and spoken word from many of the performers. Possibilities are truly endless, and this is only one example of the creative possibilities of virtual choir.
#8 Families, friends, activists, congregations, and/or strangers can sing in a virtual choir without having ever been in an ensemble together before.
Your ensemble does not have to be an established choir to perform together! “We Belong Together” is an example of a congregation who wanted to feel the camaraderie and community that singing brings to us all.
#9 You will forever have a video keepsake of your musical community
Live performances come and go. Even if you capture them on camera, the video will never do the performance justice. What is so special about a virtual choir is that the video is the performance, and it will be just as beautiful years down the line. Berklee College of Music students will always be able to look back at their time studying music at their dream school in this performance of “At Last”.
Interested in Creating a Virtual Choir?
If you are interested in creating a virtual choir, we highly recommend our friends at Auri Productions. The process of creative storyboarding, organization, instructing your ensemble, audio and video editing, and beyond are made simple and wildly fun. With over 70 virtual music projects under their belt, you can trust them to do a great job for your ensemble.
If you need help choosing your repertoire, consider browsing our song library of rehearsal tracks for inspiration.