Choir geeks rejoice -- the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is back with what may be its most epic performance yet.
On Sunday, the 360-member choir released a video featuring a powerful rendition of George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah" chorus, filmed inside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' Salt Lake Tabernacle in Utah.
The song has been part of the choir's repertoire for quite some time. What made this performance special is that the choir was joined by more than 2,000 additional voices -- a virtual chorus of students, celebrities, politicians and vocalists from around the world.
Participants were asked to send organizers videos of themselves singing one of the four parts of the chorus (soprano, alto, tenor or bass). The videos came from places as far away as Brazil, Russia and Kiribati. The diverse chorus includes the "country group Firefly, actor Donny Osmond, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and choirs of several Christian denominations from around the world."
Volunteers in ordinary clothing were dispersed throughout the choir during the filming of the song, while images of the virtual participants popped up in screens surrounding the stage. All usable video submissions were blended into the final recording, according to Greg Droubay, director of media for the LDS Church’s Missionary Department.
"While we know this isn’t the largest virtual choir ever assembled, we believe, to the best of our knowledge, that this is the only and largest virtual Hallelujah Chorus ever produced," Droubay told The Huffington Post.
The choir has been part of the church's ministry since the earliest days of Mormon history. Its first performance took place on August 22, 1847, about 29 days after the first Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.