Misterium and the Virtual Handbell Ensemble

Posted By Derek Nance on Sep 16, 2013 |

It has been many months in the making, but the first ever Virtual Handbell Ensemble video is finally here!  The amazing folks at Handbell Musicians of America put a lot of work into making this video come together, and the finished product is definitely something they can be proud of.  Jim Meredith wrote “Misterium” specifically for this project, and the many layers and subtleties to the piece make it a perfect first performance for the ensemble.  Put on some headphones and enjoy “Misterium”!

What is a Virtual Ensemble?

For those unfamiliar with the concept of the virtual ensemble, here is a quick history lesson.  The idea was created by Eric Whitacre, a Nevada born choral composer and conductor.  A fan of his uploaded a video to YouTube of herself singing one part to one of his songs, and he was so moved by the performance that he wanted to encourage other singers to post recording of themselves singing his music.  So Whitacre posted a video of himself conducting, made the music freely downloadable to anyone who wanted it, and waited for the response.  The first Virtual Choir was posted March 21, 2010 and had a couple hundred singers involved.  Here is Whitacre at the TED Conference that year explaining how he created the project.

This past year Whitacre released his fourth Virtual Choir, which was composed of 5,905 singers from 101 countries.

I really hope we can keep the Virtual Handbell Ensemble project going.  Who’s up for a Virtual Handbell Ensemble 2014?