WELLAND, Ontario, Canada, December 17, 2010 ( – A video of a flash mob performance of Handel’s Messiah Hallelujah chorus by an Ontario choral society in a local mall has taken the worldwide Internet by storm. The video, shot by hidden cameras and planned by a small company called Alphabet Photography as a thank you to their customers, was posted on YouTube on Nov. 17 and has already been seen 22,500,000 times.

Niagara This week reports that the video of the event, which took the mall’s food court patrons by delighted surprise, was sent by Alphabet Photography to about 20,000 people on their newsletter list and about 17,000 Facebook fans. And then it took off.

A comment on the video’s YouTube page explains, “The video was shot at Seaway Mall in Welland, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, November 13th at exactly 12:00 p.m. Handel’s Hallelujah was performed by Chorus Niagara, an 87-member not-for-profit choir based out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada under the artistic direction from Robert Cooper. The video was shot using seven hidden cameras and various microphones in Seaway Mall’s food court.”

The first person who gets up to sing, and is holding a cell phone, is soloist Stephanie Tritchew 22, a St. Catharines native currently attending Western University in London, Ontario. The question about why she was holding the phone throughout the performance is explained by the fact that she was letting her sister in London hear the performance.

The YouTube page has thousands of comments, both ecstatic and praising and crude and often blocked for foul language or hateful comments. 48,868 likes and 1,075 dislikes are registered.

Numerous viewers have been moved to tears of joy after seeing the video.

Following are some of the more notable comments:

“I`m not a religious person, but I found this video to be beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes, well done!”

“Wow, that was very powerful performance. To witness in person would have been a privilege.”

“How could listening to this beautiful music not make someone smile? It was heart warming to see all the food court people mesmerized by such a spectacular performance. I would love to hear this choirs whole Christmas? program. Go Canada!”

“You can clearly see people crying… This is the most intense video I have ever seen on You-tube”

“I was deeply touched by this great performance.”

“Just watching the video nearly moves me to tears.”

“Every time I? watch this I get the holy goose bumps and tears in my eyes. So powerful! THANK YOU!! and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!!”

“I have seen some arguments in the comments about belief vs. non-belief. This video simply transcends these comments. It increases all of us, believers or non-believers and leaves us all with an improved perspective? or something important beyond the simply physical world.”

“I haven’t been to Mass in years, and I’m bawling my eyes out right now.”

“I see this recording over and over again, because of? its overwhelming impact. The happyness on the faces of those people performing, but also to those listening!”

“I am an atheist yet I find myself coming back to this video over and over again. I love beautiful music and even more I love seeing people enjoy it. I think this is wonderful!!”