AU Press Releases

Alfred University student one of 2,000 voices in virtual choir performance

Michaela Stone

Michaela Stone

You may need to look closely, and quickly, but Alfred University student Michaela Stone, a Hornell resident, is among the 2,000 voices featured in the Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir 2.0 (

More than 2,000 people from around the world submitted video recordings of themselves singing their particular vocal part in a composition by Eric Whitacre. The videos were then blended together into a YouTube video released last week.

The project has garnered national media attention: it’s been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered;” “Good Morning America,” and in NewScientist magazine.

Stone, who is majoring in education and mathematics with a minor in music, says she believes she is the only local resident who participated in the virtual choir. She said music by Whitacre is a “staple in the repertoire of the AU music programs.”

She was introduced to the project by Mark A. Smith, who in addition to directing the Orpheus Chorale, which features several AU faculty, staff and students, is also director of the Scholes Library at Alfred University.

Stone said she was “struck most by the contrast between the isolation in which we all recorded our parts, and the cohesiveness of the final product. Choral music is, by its nature, about blending and working together musically. The team behind the video was able to take over 2,000 videos shot in bedrooms, living rooms, and classrooms around the world, and blend them into a finished product that visually and musically unites people who would otherwise never have crossed paths.”

She is already looking forward to virtual choir 3.0 and would like to try submitting more than one vocal part of the composition. She is also preparing submissions for the Virtual Orchestra Project (, being organized by Emmy-nominated composer Glen Rhodes. Stone is hoping to submit recordings for the flute, piccolo and oboe parts in that orchestration.

Stone, a sophomore, studies voice with Rebecca Weaver and flute with Angela McBrearty. Both are adjunct professors of music in the Division of Performing Arts, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Alfred University.