LEWISTON, Maine — Colin Britt’s classical music makeover of pop hit “Call Me Maybe” is headed to the “Today Show.”
The Auburn native and about 60 other Yale University musicians — composing a full orchestra and choir — plan to perform on the national TV show Friday morning. Meanwhile, their Internet hit continues to draw thousands of hits each hour.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday — eight days after the video was posted on YouTube — it had been seen more than 1.3 million times. The website listed the video at No. 19 in its popularity rankings.
“It’s surreal,” Britt said Wednesday. “It’s the word I keep using for it, but it’s the only way I can describe it.”
The video was Britt’s idea.
The 27-year-old pianist and composer grew up in Auburn and took part in many Community Little Theatre productions. He works at Yale, his alma mater, directing music in its Marquand Chapel.
For fun, he began orchestrating pop songs and fell onto Carly Rae Jepsen’s feather-weight anthem.
On Sept. 3, Britt and a bunch of friends performed and filmed the classical sounding arrangement. A week later, it landed on YouTube.
Last Friday, the “Today Show” played a clip of the video on the air. This Tuesday, a producer phoned Britt.
“It’s definitely the most surreal thing that’s happened out of this whole surreal medley,” he said. The show plans to send two buses for the whole volunteer group, which calls itself 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra.
“We’re about 60,” Britt said. “It’s not quite the same ensemble as the video. We had five or six people who weren’t able to come again. We had to fill in our ranks.”
Together, they plan to take a corner of Rockefeller Plaza, just outside the “Today Show” studio in Manhattan.
Britt said he has been surprised by numerous requests for his “Call Me Maybe” arrangement, which he put together with friend Arianne Abela. He has even had one inquiry looking for some of his own compositions.
“That’s a nice little side effect, I guess,” he said. “I hope they won’t be disappointed that I won’t be Carly Rae Jepsen.”