Posted by: Colin Britt | November 18, 2020

Virtual choir recording of “How can we sing”

The virtual recording of “How can we sing”

Eight months ago this week, I began work in earnest on my first piece in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a setting of Psalm 137 called “How can we sing.” As soon as the shutdown began, I found myself unable to get the words “how can we sing in a foreign land?” out of my head, and I felt that these lines from the psalmist were calling to me.

After completing the piece in exactly three days, I reached out to friends, colleagues, and former and present students to ask if anyone would be willing to participate in a virtual choir recording of this work. I was blown away by the response I received – almost 50 singers from literally every corner of my life submitted audio and video recordings to bring this piece to life.

Of course, life in 2020 had other plans, and it wasn’t until the end of the summer when Jim Bilodeau and I actually had time to edit the project. Jim beat me to it and finished editing the audio file before the 2020/21 school year started, but of course I took the longest. And while I wish I’d been able to finish this project back at the height of my personal anguish in the late spring… little did I know back in March just how long this musical exile would last.

A tremendous thanks to Jim for his brilliant audio engineering, and to all of these incredible singers for giving this piece a voice.


  1. […] written during the early months of the pandemic. I am so honored and grateful that my composition How can we sing, written 5 days into the shutdown, was the first prize winner! An honorable mention was a piece I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: