CNN: A music student united more than 300 musicians to create a virtual choir to perform during the pandemic
By Alec Snyder, CNN
(CNN) Harrison Sheckler, a graduate student at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, found himself sent home like many college students due to the coronavirus pandemic. With time on his hands and away from friends and professors, Sheckler wanted to unite people through what he knows best: music.
The 24-year-old flew home to Charles City, Iowa, on March 14, expecting to be home for two weeks. That expanded to include the rest of the year -- and also resulted in the cancellation of a planned accompaniment with the New York Philharmonic. So, Sheckler needed to channel his music and energy.
He loves musical theater and worked on "Carousel" at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Sheckler thought the lyrics to his favorite song from that show, "You'll Never Walk Alone," fit the need to stay positive during the coronavirus crisis.
"It parallels what's going on right now," Sheckler told CNN. "We're all going through this together in a way, and we need to know that we're not alone, and if we have hope, we're going to get through this. I found comfort and solace in those words, and I thought a lot of people would resonate with it. As it turns out, they did."
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PEOPLE: 300 Musicians From Around the World Team Up for Virtual Rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'
Composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein introduced “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in the musical Carousel 75 years ago.
Since then, the emotional song has become a standard at graduations, sports games and now, seemingly, the anthem of COVID-19.
In the past, it has been sung by Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis, who always closed his Labor Day MDA telethon with the show tune, as well as Barbra Streisand, who performed the song in honor of the victims of 9/11 and recently re-released it.
Still, a three-minute virtual rendition of the song as performed by 240 vocalists and 60 instrumentalists in their own homes from 15 different countries hit social media in early May, causing jaw-dropping reactions, all thanks to the talents of 24-year-old pianist and organizer, Harrison Sheckler.
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