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Deep FieldThe Impossible Magnitude of our Universe

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Frequently Asked Questions


Who made the film?

An incredible team of scientists, engineers asnd artists at the Space Telescope Science Institute and 59 Productions made the Deep Field film. Produced by John Powell, the soundtrack has been recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eric Whitacre Singers and Virtual Choir 5.

Where can I watch the film?

“Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe” is available to watch on YouTube and download on iTunes.

How long is the film?

The film is set to Eric’s piece – Deep Field – which is 23 minutes long.

Where can I listen to Deep Field?

Deep Field is available on all normal streaming and download platforms.

Can I buy or download the VC5 recordings, video or soundtrack of Deep Field?

“Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe” is available to watch on YouTube and download on iTunes. The soundtrack – Deep Field – is available on all normal streaming and download platforms including SpotifyiTunesApple MusicPrimephonicAmazon and Qobuz (HQ)

The Virtual Choir

What is the Virtual Choir?

The Virtual Choir (VC) is a global phenomenon, creating a user-generated choir that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music through the use of technology. Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world to be combined into one single performance, creating the Virtual Choir.

It began in 2009 as a simple experiment in social media when one young woman – a fan of Eric’s music – recorded a video of herself singing “Sleep” and shared it on YouTube.  Moved by the video, Eric responded by sending a call out to his online fans to purchase Polyphony’s recording, record themselves singing along to it, and upload the result. Eric was so impressed by the result that he decided to push the concept to the next level by recording himself conducting “Lux Aurumque”, asking Virtual Choir members to sing along to that, and the first Virtual Choir was created.  Members have formed an incredible community, supporting each other in any number of ways including through music.

With more than forty million views, the VC videos have featured on worldwide TV (ABC in the US and BBC in the UK) and as installations across the globe including the Millennium Bridge, London as part of the 2012 Olympics, the opening of the Titanic 100th anniversary exhibition as well as at the closing plenary of Davos World Economic Forum. The VC has also been seen on the main stage of the revered TED conference, at the Paley Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC & at events for Google, UNICEF and the United Nations amongst others.  Recent spin-off projects have included “Glow”, written especially for World of Color – Winter Dreams show which premiered at Disney California Adventure® Park, California and the first-ever Virtual Youth Choir, in partnership with UNICEF, which premiered at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

How do I join the Virtual Choir?

Submissions for Virtual Choir 5 closed in July 2018. Sign up to Eric’s mailing list to receive news of future projects.

Can anyone join the Virtual Choir?

There are no restrictions as to who can be a part of Virtual Choir – we welcome everyone!

Do I get paid to be in the Virtual Choir?

No, there is no monetary payment – just fame and glory! Singers from around the world will join together in Virtual Choir 5 to create a beautiful film and an audio-visual installation to be experienced by millions.

Who owns the Virtual Choir?

Whilst composer and conductor Eric Whitacre originally dreamt up the Virtual Choir, the concept is not trademarked in any way and we encourage you to create your own Virtual Choirs.

How much does it cost to make a Virtual Choir?

Too much! This is dependent on a number of different things. We have to create the initial website and tools – so design, tech, software, videos. Hosting of all the video submissions costs tens of thousands of dollars. The number of submissions (which we don’t know in advance) directly impacts the budget for hosting, editing and so forth. Editing the audio in the studio to form thousands of submissions into a choir takes time and (wo)manpower. The more submissions we have, the more this costs. Then there’s the film. The creative and technical ambition of the film and the number of months it takes to make and the team required to make it sets the final sector of the budget.

Who pays for the Virtual Choir?

Eric himself and his managers Claire and Meg from Music Productions always invest and have done so this time. But for VC5 we are also so grateful to the Dunard Fund, Boosey & Hawkes, Distinguished Concerts International, Hal Leonard & Larry Morton, Primephonic and Walton Music for their generous contributions towards the costs of making this beautiful project happen.

Can I make a Virtual Choir using Eric’s music?

Absolutely! The Virtual Choir is not trademarked or patented so we encourage you to create your own. Just ensure you have the appropriate licenses in place with any copyrights you may be using, including Eric’s.

My company/choir would like to make a Virtual Choir or book Eric – who do we speak to?

All requests can be made directly to Eric’s Manager – Claire Long.

Are all of the videos really used?

We use every video that meets our technical specification and guidelines.

Is there a virtual orchestra too?

Not yet! Never say never.

Will Eric watch my video?

Eric watches many of the Virtual Choir submissions but unfortunately he doesn’t have time to watch every single one.

Can I get a message or question to Eric?

Eric receives a huge number of messages each day and he tries to get back to each and every one, but the volume is so great that it’s impossible, sadly. Send him a message on Facebook or Twitter and he’ll do his best!

Will there be another Virtual Choir in the future?

We don’t have another Virtual Choir scheduled following Virtual Choir 5. Please sign up to Eric’s mailing list to be sent all future announcements.

How can I contact the Virtual Choir team?

Please contact Meg Davies at Music Productions Ltd for any questions you have about the Virtual Choir or Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe.

Virtual Choir 5

Can I delete my submitted videos?

Videos that you’ve submitted to Virtual Choir 5 cannot be deleted.

How will my performance be used?

Your performance (video and audio) features as part of the Deep Field film. The Deep Field film may be seen online, at live events or festivals, in the classroom or at space agency sites. You never know where you might end up performing in the future!

Is there any way we can view each others’ submitted videos?

There isn’t a way to view submitted videos from other VC5 members. You can, however, view member profiles in the Hall of Fame if the member has chosen to make their profile public. Profiles will show a photo of the member (if one was uploaded), their hometown, their past Virtual Choir participation and the badges they’ve earned from the interactive activities in the Badges section.

How many people took part in VC5?

Over 8,000 voices from 120 countries aged 4-87 are heard in Virtual Choir 5.

How will my data be used?

When you sign up to (and participate in its online Forum), the personal information you provide allows us to create a public profile that will be associated with your activity on the site. If you wish to make your profile private so that other users can’t see your personal information, please tick the “Anonymous” box within Update Your Profile. Your contact information also allows us to reach out to you if we have questions concerning your submission(s) and gives a method to send project updates via email. We may use your name, age and location publicly to credit you for your participation in Virtual Choir 5.

Can I download my performance to keep?

We are unable to provide a service that allows you to download your individual videos.


What are the Deep Field badges?

Deep Field is a celebration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, math).

As part of the Deep Field project, we have created a series of fun challenges inspired by STEAM. By completing the challenges, you earn badges. Users that completed all eighteen badges before the submission deadline were entered into a prize draw to win some amazing prizes.

Who created the badges?

The badges were created by the VC5 Producers and webmaster Damien du Toit with the invaluable help of scientists, artists and engineers who supported the project.

What are the hexagon badges I can see on the site?

Virtual Choir 5 is a celebration of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math – and so we’ve put together a series of challenges relating to music, science, math and creativity. Why don’t you see if you can complete all eighteen?

Where can I find out which badges I’ve already earned?

You can find your badges within Your Profile.

For more information, visit the Deep Field website.

How can I earn more badges?

Either click on any of the hexagons you see across the site or visit the Badges section.

How do I enter the Prize Draw?

The Prize Draw is now closed.

My Account

What are the file requirements for a profile photo?

Select an image file on your device (JPG, GIF or PNG) with a maximum size of 5MB. Images are automatically resized and cropped.

I’ve forgotten my password.

It happens! If you forget your password, please visit and enter either the email address or the username that you signed up with.

I typed the wrong email address when I signed up. What do I do?

No worries! Just sign up again with the correct email address.

I share an email address, can we still make separate accounts?

No – each account must have a unique email address.

I haven’t received my activation email. What do I do?

  1. Have you checked your Spam or Junk folder?
  2. If it’s not in your Spam/Junk folder, try resetting your password with the email address that you signed up with.
  3. If you still haven’t received the email, try signing up again.
  4. If you’re still having problems, please contact [email protected].

How do I update my personal information?

You can update your name, username and photo in Your Profile.

How do I change my password?

Go to Your Profile and click on the “change your password” link under your username.

Can I update my town and country?

Absolutely. Just visit Your Profile to select a new location.

How do I change my profile photo?

Visit Your Profile. Under Update Your Profile, click Select File, select the new image you’d like to use and finally, click Upload.

How do I delete my account?

If you would like to delete your account, please email [email protected].

I don’t want other people to see my Profile. How do I do that?

When you sign up to the site, you have a public profile created. If you would rather keep your profile private, you can tick the Anonymous box in Your Profile. This means your Profile will not be accessible by other users and you will not featured within The Singers. Any video you submit will still be used in the Deep Field film, and you will still be credited for your contribution.

How can I share my profile with friends on Facebook and other social media accounts?

At the bottom of your profile page click on the “Share Your Profile” link, then copy the link for that page and share it. On this page you’ll see your profile photo, your VC5 nickname, icons indicating your participation in past Virtual Choirs, your hometown and country and your collected badges. You also can go to the Hall of Fame tab then find and click on your hexagon to open your shareable profile image.

How do I stop Eric Whitacre / the Virtual Choir emailing me?

If you wish to unsubscribe from the mailing list, please email [email protected].

Can I create more than one account?

No – only one account is permitted per person.

Scientific Research Project

What is the scientific research project?

As part of Virtual Choir 5, we partnered with Dr. Daisy Fancourt from University College London to conduct a large-scale study into the experience of virtual cultural events. The study will be looking at online experiences, particularly singing, and whether it can help a person’s wellbeing.

For more information, visit the Deep Field site.

Who is running the research project?

The research project is being conducted by Dr. Daisy Fancourt of University College London. You can find out more about the project on the Deep Field website.

Who will see my answers to the research questionnaire?

All data that is sent to University College London will be anonymous – it will not be associated with your personal data. No individual results will be released publicly.

When will the research results be published?

Research projects are lengthy! The results will be published when the data has been collated, the numbers crunched and the final results have been approved. Sign up to Eric’s mailing list and we’ll let you know when they’re released. Your participation in the research questionnaires is a valuable exercise that will contribute to the understanding of the impact of projects such as VC5.