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A virtual path to Carnegie Hall

Online auditions lead 96 musicians from around the world to New York's famed concert hall to perform in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

At New York City's world-renowned Carnegie Hall, the music of the ages was played with a modern twist this week.

In a first-of-its-kind concert, famed American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas offered a new answer to the old humorous question: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"

"Upload, upload, upload" is Thomas' response.

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra originated with the click of a mouse.

In December, 3,000 hopefuls began posting auditions online. YouTube surfers helped determine which 96 musicians would make the final cut.

Among those selected were Owain Williams, a tympanist studying at London's Royal College of Music. "To audition online, I mean that's completely new," he said.

The musicians came to Carnegie Hall from more than 20 countries. The orchestra just had three days to rehearse before Wednesday night's performance.

The musicians couldn't help but be nervous on the world's most legendary stage.

"It took me like the first of the whole half of the concert until I kind of settled down," cellist Rachel Hsieh said.

Williams said he'd "never done a concert with that many TV cameras, that much press."

As for any worries that this grand experiment could compromise the music, violinist Hanah Stuart responded afterward: the musicians "nailed it."

The original version of this article by CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller can be found here.