In these times, Virtual Choir has become one of the best ways we can keep singing together, each adding our voices to create something something bigger than ourselves.
Virtual Choir allow us to sing in the safety, comfort, and privacy of our own homes and connect, make music, and build community from all across the world. Wherever you are, and whatever your level, there is a Virtual Choir for you!
What is Virtual Choir?
You've probably seen these videos all over the internet, with tiny boxes resembling a Zoom meeting—but Virtual Choir is not done on Zoom! Virtual Choir refers to an ensemble format in which all singers separately record their own audio and/or video to a backing track or click trick, which are then assembled to create a visual collage of all the participating singers or instrumentalists! Click the videos on this page to see some examples.
Do you need any special equipment?
As a music director or producer, all you need is a computer with video and audio editing software and some willing singers! All the singers need is their smart phone!
How to make a Virtual Choir video
1) Pick a piece. Pieces that work well usually are short (less than 5 minutes), not too complicated, and have a steady pulse.
2) Create a backing track. Record the accompaniment or find one online. If you want to teach each individual part, you can record those played or sung along with the piano or organ.
3) Send the tracks to your choir! Give the singers a deadline, and make sure they record using headphones to play their backing track (to minimize feedback). You don't need a fancy video camera—your smartphone will do!
4) Mix the audio and sync the video. Once the singers send you their videos, use your audio editing software to trim the ends, adjust the balance, and line up the audio. Likewise, you'll use your video software to arrange the squares into a grid and sync up the videos.
Need some help?
When my church decided to suspend in-person worship, I knew we needed to keep our choir program active, and we quickly fell into a schedule of making weekly Virtual Choir anthems for our online worship services. Sometimes video, sometimes audio-only, our program is a testament that it is possible, even with volunteers and amateurs!
I understand many choir directors may find this process overwhelming, or just simply too much work, so I'm here to help you with your virtual choir projects! Whether you need help with creating backing tracks, mixing audio, syncing video, or hosting files, I'm happy to guide you along the process of creating your first virtual choir video.
Virtual Choir Production Services
Prefer to leave the details to the professionals? With hundreds of virtual choir videos and tracks under my belt, I understand the many steps it takes to move a project from the selection of piece to the final video, especially under weekly deadlines!
Consulting on every stage of the process
Guide/Backing Track production for simple piano/organ accompaniments to professional vocal tracks
Audio/Video Editing for impressive video collages with unified, cleaned up, professional audio
guide tracks for all parts (up to 4)
video hosting, management, and compilation
audio and video editing
starts at just $300. Yes you read that right! For choirs or ensembles wishing to do this on a regular basis, you can save even more!
The bottom line...
... is this: Choirs thrive on the experience of communal music-making. It is a life-giving and life-affirming activity, and the kind of connection we crave in times like these. Virtual Choir, though not a substitute for in-person singing, gives us the opportunity to connect and make music together—something we desperately need!
I strongly encourage you to try Zoom choir rehearsals, even if you just chat for an hour to check in, and try putting together a virtual choir audio or video track. It will give you and your choir the chance to work toward a goal as well as improve their skills!
Some of Steven's recent Virtual Choir clients:
- The Gaithersburg Chorus (Maryland)
- Howell High School Fine and Performing Arts Academy (New Jersey)
- Farmington Valley Chorale (Connecticut)
- The Meeting House Singers (Virginia)
- The National Presbyterian Church (Washington, DC)