Topic: College of Fine Arts

February 6, 2014

Eric Whitacre
Eric Whitacre, a favorite contemporary composer of choral singers around the world, will come to Emens Auditorium Feb. 26

Eric Whitacre, a favorite contemporary composer of choral singers around the world, will come to Emens Auditorium for a special Feb. 26 concert featuring members of the Ball State University Choirs and invited guests from Indiana high school choirs.

"Eric Whitacre's music has become a touchstone for this generation of choral singers," says Andrew Crow, Ball State's director of choral activities. Crow explained that the majority of students participating in the Feb. 26 concert have performed Whitacre's music either in high school, college or as part of one of his Virtual Choir experiences. "For them to be able to rehearse and perform with him will offer them an even greater insight into his music."

A Grammy-winning composer and conductor, Whitacre has inspired millions by bringing together "virtual choirs," singers from around the world whose voices are spliced together on video. His first Virtual Choir, Lux Aurumque, received more than 1 million views on YouTube in two months. The latest, Virtual Choir 4: Fly to Paradise, released in July 2013, received more than 8,400 submissions from 101 countries.

Whitacre's visit to Ball State is part of Emens Auditorium's ongoing celebration of its 50th anniversary season. Barbara Burns, a member of the Emens anniversary steering committee, first suggested his name for consideration. "I had remembered that first virtual choir performance and thought, if he could unite 12 countries in song, certainly he could work with a community," Burns said. "I think his unique creativity will impact our students, encouraging them to dream and think outside the box."

Crow said excitement for the Whitacre event, among Indiana choral leaders in particular, is building. As part of the concert, high school choral students from across the state will join with Ball State's 200 choral singers to perform one of Whitacre's best-known compositions, "Water Night." After conducting works featuring individual choirs from Ball State and the collected choir, Whitacre will give his own presentation and answer questions from the audience.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Tickets must be presented for attendance and can be picked up at the Emens box office or by calling 765-285-1539 for more information. A full house is expected, so audience-goers are encouraged to get tickets early.