Technology Unites Musicians from Across the World

By Caeli Smith, Roving Reporter

Hi everyone! One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the other side of the globe. In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali mystic, “Music fills the infinite between two souls.” A person who lives half the world away can seem infinitely far from you, but music brings people together. Combine the power of music with the fabulous opportunities that technology provides us, and you’ve got the most exciting new concept in today’s music world – the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

YouTube Symphony Orchestra

YouTube Symphony Orchestra

I’m sure many of you know of this innovative project, and perhaps a few of you auditioned for it, but for those who haven’t heard, here’s how it works: a few months ago YouTube put out an open call for applications for their orchestra. Musicians from every continent except Antarctica uploaded audition videos in the hopes of being selected as a member of this one-of-a-kind orchestra, which will perform a piece by renowned composer Tan Dun in Carnegie Hall.

The entries were screened by a panel of musicians from professional orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic. Next, videos of two hundred finalists ranging in age from 15 to 55 were posted on the YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel in late February. The YouTube community voted for their favorites, and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas reviewed the finalists to create the orchestra that he will conduct during their performance at Carnegie Hall on April 15, 2009.

My violinist-self is sad because I didn’t have a chance to prepare an audition, but my journalist-self is happy because I am able to participate in the event another way. I will be a member of the official YouTube “vlog-squad team” covering the event through personalized video blogs and posting them on YouTube. I’ll have a chance to interview the musicians, give my impressions about the event, and give you guys a peek behind the scenes!

I’m very excited to be a part of this one-of-a-kind event, and to experience the first ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra. I hope you guys will follow along and check out my YouTube site for updates. Hope to see some of you there!