Fan project inspired by the legendary title aims to bring gamers from around the globe together, singing the iconic Halo theme as one massive virtual choir backed by professional singers and world-class teaching
London, UK – June 28th, 2023 – Video games industry veteran and founder of Choir of the Earth, Mark Strachan BEM, and Ben England BEM, Musical Director of gamechoir, today announce the launch of gamechoir, an initiative with the goal of bringing fans of the legendary Halo series together to take up the challenge of recording the worlds biggest Halo chant. The ambitious free project plans to press the recording button on July 10th with a teaching session live-streamed on YouTube to get participants up to scratch. Once ready, those taking part are invited to record their voices using their phones, tablets or computers in their own time, which will then be added to the final edit planned to be broadcast on YouTube on August 17th.
The iconic Gregorian-inspired chant was first heard in 2002 with the launch of the original Halo game and, in the 20-plus years since, has continued to build its legacy as one of the most enchanting and critically-praised pieces of gaming music created. It led to viral videos of students in high school bathrooms gathering to sing it en masse and fans descending deep into underground caverns searching for the perfect reverb. This makes it the ideal choice for gamechoir, which aims to bring people together through the power of video games and music spanning generations, countries, and octaves, utilising a blend of musical talent and video game industry knowledge.
gamechoir’s roots stem from two people; former Ubisoft UK CEO Mark Strachan – a pioneer of the games industry and the founder of the world-famous and ongoing Choir of the Earth project, which played a vital role in reducing loneliness levels during the many lockdowns throughout the pandemic and continues to raise awareness of loneliness. And Musical Director Ben England – an internationally renowned conductor, avid gamer, world-leading educator, and innovator who has received global acclaim for his pioneering work with digital music-making. Both Mark and Ben were awarded the British Empire Medal by the late Queen for services to Musicians and Choral Music during the pandemic.
“Thinking back to when I worked in the video games industry, I don’t believe many guessed that Marty O’Donnell’s composition would still be capturing the attention and affection of gamers twenty years later,” comments Mark Strachan BEM, founder of gamechoir. “That’s the beauty of this project. We get to celebrate a poignant piece of video game history and bring together tens of thousands of voices to create something truly magnificent.”
“We are so excited to be launching gamechoir with this iconic piece,” says Ben England BEM, award-winning conductor. “Our way of teaching and recording means that literally anyone can take part from anywhere in the world. We are combining the best in gaming with the best in music for the first time for free. We want everyone to be part of it, young or old, wherever and whoever they are – no previous singing or gaming experience is needed!”
All that is required to take part is a device with a microphone. Even for those who don’t feel they have a good singing voice, a free teaching session where gamechoir guides everyone through how to produce a good sound and how to sing in tune will take place via YouTube on Monday, 10th July 2023, at 7 pm UK time. Afterwards, participants will be encouraged to practise using professionally recorded backing tracks and record their part; whether high, medium or low voice, people can submit multiple parts. The final performance will be shared with each participant in a LIVESTREAM on YouTube on Wednesday, 16th August 2023 and then posted on Twitter, TikTok, Discord, and other platforms. Participants are encouraged to sing their part as many times as they like!
“Whether you are a gamer or a singer, everyone is welcome to join us alongside the talented and professional team who understand the significance and impact gamechoir has,” Strachan adds. “We truly cannot wait to hear what the Halo chant sounds like when we release it in August. Hopefully, with thousands of gamers singing along with us from all over the world.”
‘After writing the Halo theme in 1999 with Mike Salvatori, I never imagined it would become one of the most iconic video game songs in the world and that people from around the world would still be singing it nearly 25 years later”, comments Marty O’Donnell, the US composer known for composing the Halo theme. “As soon as I heard about the inspiration behind the gamechoir project, it made complete sense, and I knew straight away that I wanted to be involved and help spread the word. Video games and video game music have the power to bring people together. gamechoir is proof of that, which is why I would personally like to welcome everyone to join this project with me. Singer or not, let’s make Master Chief proud!”
The team behind gamechoir have years of experience in the exciting new field of digital singing, bringing together people from all over the world regardless of age, physical location, gender or even singing ability. The end results of their large-scale digital choir projects are astonishing, and with this Halo chant, they are pushing the boundaries of technology to break new ground in both music-making and gaming. Digital singing is entirely accessible by everyone – all that is needed is an internet connection, a device that can record, and access to YouTube.
gamechoir is the brainchild of Choir of the Earth founders Mark Strachan BEM and Ben England BEM. Founded in 2023 in the United Kingdom, gamechoir is an ambitious initiative designed to connect gamers across the world together through the power of music. The team has decades of experience in gaming and digital music-making and earned the British Empire Medal as recognition from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for positive social impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gamechoir project will debut in 2023 with a massive performance of the Halo Chant, the first in a planned series of gaming theme renditions.