Joni Villemez-Comeaux had an interesting birthday this year.
The Southeast Texan spent it volunteering at a shelter in Conroe for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. While there, she shot a video of an impromptu gospel choir performance, which she posted on Facebook.
Next thing she knew, her name and smiling face were alongside that of singer Victoria White being seen around the world, as the video went viral and the U.K. Daily Mail picked up the story.
As of about 1:30 p.m., the video had been viewed more than 10 million times.
“You know, this is surreal – there’s just no words to describe it,” she said in a phone interview from Conroe.
White and other singers paid a visit to those sheltering at the Lone Start Convention & Expo Center about 40 miles north of Houston to minister to them with song.
What followed, recorded under less than optimal conditions, was a moving performance of the gospel song, ‘Spirit break out’ led by Victoria White.
Villemez-Comeaux, a licensed counselor, was volunteering at the shelter when the singing broke out and she looked up.
“It was like a magnet,” she said. She approached White after the performance to praise her beautiful voice and learn a little more about her.
White, who works at Sam Houston University, also is a pastor.
“She just goes around to the shelters and offers this beautiful gift – the thing I keep thinking is how healing music is, there’s a healing property to it,” Villemez-Comeaux said, adding she was happy to be able to bring White’s musical gifts to the world – although she still doesn’t understand how it came about.
She hopes that the exposure will bring new opportunities White’s way.
“She’s just priceless, a very giving, very giving spirit,” Villemez-Comeaux said.