Yesterday I shared a few videos of choirs associated with the World Choir Games 2012, recently hosted my city (Cincinnati, OH). Many interesting stories accompanied the games, so I would like to share two of them.
This one is about the first choir to compete this year. The UMOJA Men’s Chorus is a local choir, based about 30 miles from the downtown venues. Because the choir couldn’t attend the games, the competition judges went to them so they could compete. On a side note, in budget balancing moves, Ohio Governor Jon Kasich has cut this program’s funding. The state now has a budget surplus, but (as of this time) the state has not reauthorized the funding.
This is a great story that other news outlets have picked up. The 49-member Gema Chandra Cenderawasih University Choir is from Indonesia. For various travel issues, they arrived in Cincinnati in time for the closing ceremony – which means no competition, no performances, and minimal fellowship … but, Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau stepped up, and then the people of the city joined the support!
The bureau arranged several concerts for them over a few days (including these in the convention center’s lobby). World Choir Games organization provided hotel rooms for several days. A restaurant provided meals. The Cincinnati Reds gave them game tickets and souvenirs – and yes, monetary donations are coming in. Volunteers offered to help.
Keep in mind that arriving late also means they missed their return flights. They arrived here without a complete return flight home – that is they have flights very early Friday morning from San Francisco to Jakarta – but no way to San Francisco.
Unable to secure a flight to SF, Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau got them on their way with a charter bus. That’s a long trip, but they will see much of the country. Hopefully they will see the Rockies during the day … and as of the time of this post, I believe they are still on the road.