Baylor scientist and flutist contributes to global musical collaboration

If you blink you might miss Dr. Lynn Zechiedrich’s cameo on a United Nations Foundation’s music video, but you most certainly can hear her throughout the performance. Zechiedrich, a professor of virology and microbiology at Baylor and a classically trained flutist, joined 170 musical artists from six continents to create a music video of the Oscar nominated song “I’m Standing With You” in support of the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The video’s message of hope, unity and ‘we’re all in this together’ is one that is needed right now,” said Zechiedrich.

Zechiedrich learned about the opportunity through her involvement with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra (the TMC Orchestra is misidentified as the Texas Medical Symphony Orchestra in the video credits). Its director, Libi Lebel, was contacted back in April by the video’s organizers who she new through her professional connections. Other members of the TMC Orchestra also took part in the video, including many other members of the Baylor community.

“I am delighted with the final product and being a part of this project means a lot to me, as well as being able to share this with the other members of the TMC Orchestra,” Zechiedrich said.

The song, written by Diane Warren, was arranged by Emmy nominated music composer Sharon Farber in a fashion that allowed each individual singer and instrumentalist to be able to record a video of their part, solo at home or in a music studio to be later edited together.

The process brought a lot of smiles to Zechiedrich since she recorded in her home and did not realize how much ambient noise occurs at any given time.

“The music was easy to learn, but the hard part was recording. My husband, Marty (Dr. Martin Matzuk, professor at Baylor) used a rubber band to secure my phone on a tripod to record me. I had to stop and start so many times. First a helicopter flew over, then a truck beeped as it backed up, my neighbor was talking on his phone outside, then he was laughing too loudly, and finally my refrigerator cycled on! I eventually got a good take and that is what was used.”

Watch a video of Zechiedrich’s flute performance.

Dr. Lynn Zechiedrich

Dr. Lynn Zechiedrich records her flute performance on “I’m Standing With You.”

Using earbuds, Zechiedrich listened to a minimal instrumental music track to play along with while only her flute performance was video recorded (watch a video of her performance). Part of her piece required some moments of silence allowing for other musical parts to be included later. The video’s director, Gev Miron, layered each track together to create the final video. It is being shared on social media as a way to show support to one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds from views are being donated to a relief fund.

“The beauty comes as the different voices and parts are layered on. So you can take a single melody and it can become a rich tapestry of music. That’s what happened here,” said Zechiedrich. “As COVID-19 has made its way around the world, it seems so perfect and so comforting somehow to think of everyone, workers in the TMC, composers in LA, singers from all over the world, truly all in this together.”