'The Prayer Project' features 94-member virtual flute orchestra

May 29, 2020

It's not often you get to see and hear 91 flutes perform simultaneously.

But that's exactly what happens in The Prayer Project, produced by composer Amanda Harberg and filmmaker Micah Fink with support from the National Flute Association.

The project emerged after the cancellation of this summer's National Flute Association convention. Harberg was devastated - her piccolo concerto was supposed to have premiered at the event.

Filmmaker Micah Fink and composer Amanda Harberg produce The Prayer Project

At the urging of Fink - who is also her husband - Harberg arranged her piece "Prayer" for a virtual flute orchestra to help her cope with the loss of the convention.

The musicians in The Prayer Project featured not only 91 flutes but also harp, timpani, percussion and conductor. 

In the end, The Prayer Project included everyone from pre-teen flutists to the principal flute of the New York Philharmonic to world-renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta.

The musicians came from 17 different countries. 

Harberg composed "Prayer" in 2011 after learning her mother had a serious illness. Her mother is healthy now, and "Prayer," which was first published as the second movement of Harberg's viola concerto, has since been reworked for a variety of types of ensembles. 

Harberg spoke with Classical IPR about The Prayer Project. Hear the conversation below, and then scroll down to see the video featuring the virtual flute orchestra.