Friday, December 2, 2011

The Choral Community

So how many of you have seen the virtual choir? Were you amazed or petrified? The project was the idea of composer / conductor Eric Whitacre. He took singers from all over the world, had them audition, learn the music, and then record themselves singing it. He then mixed all of their recordings together and created a virtual choir. Not only did he do this once, he did it twice.

My first thought was, WOW! This is really cool. Then I got very nervous. You may be asking yourselves why this would make someone nervous. The reason is simple. It took away the one element that makes music making so wonderful, personal connection. The virtual choir members had no interaction with one another. However, is this a wonderful project that bring so many people together from many different countries? Yes. But with the world of virtual schools, skype, texting, e-mail, video games, and so much more, we need to make sure that our children do not lose the ability to socialize with others and the skills needed to interact with others.

It reminded me of the movie WALL-E. In the movie you see how the human race has lost its ability to interact with one another without the assistance of electronics. It went so far as to portray humans losing the ability to walk. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when two people are talking to each other, but they are doing it through a television screen and they are floating (they can’t stand) right next to each other.

As we move farther into the 21st century and the next generations become more reliant on technology, let’s make sure we keep our rich choral heritage alive. Choirs have always been a haven where people come not only to make great music, but also to have fellowship. I see it before and after every rehearsal. I see singers who want to be together and share with one another.

Here’s to keeping human interaction alive!!

P.S. Here is the link to the video if you would like to watch it.



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