On Sharing Song – Creating Magic

Like many Cincinnatians, the announcement (several years ago) of our city hosting the 2012 World Choir Games puzzled me. As the games neared, we shrugged our shoulders at the ads and announcement. We also heard the stories of slow ticket sales.

Over 15,000 singers in 362 choirs from 67 countries came to our medium-sized city along the Ohio River to compete in 23 categories – let alone for the first time U.S. has hosted the event. As a sudden flash from bright fireworks, the city embraced the numerous events associated with the games. Doors to free Friendship Concerts closed 30-45 minutes before the start. Tickets to the pay events were selling quickly – and yes – selling out.

It was a fun event! Like many, we regretfully waited too long before trying to get tickets to a pay event. A once-in-a-lifetime event was at our fingertips, and we missed something that we would have immensely enjoyed. We attended several Friendship concerts, but we missed competitions and concerts of champions.

With so many outstanding choirs in town, it’s not easy picking just a few to show – so at least here’s a variety to enjoy, and all from award-winning choirs. After all, the theme of the event was Sharing Song – Creating Magic – and that they did. Enjoy the videos.

Note: For those interested, here is the Results page. FYI: It’s not user friendly, thus involves examining a handful of PDF files.

COTA: A youth choir from Namibia. A friend of mine saw them and said he has never seen a crowd response to a performance like that.

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Latin: A Venezuelan choir who competed in folk music, and in this video, they are enjoying themselves in a Cincinnati hotel lobby.

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Barbershop: I saw a very entertaining woman’s chorus from Canada, but I was shocked to see that they finished something like 6 of 8 – which sparked me to wonder about the winning choir, which was this one from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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Sacred: Stellenbosch University Chorus (South Africa) won the Sacred Music category. Here’s one piece from their performance at the champion’s concert.

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38 thoughts on “On Sharing Song – Creating Magic

  1. Barbershop with more than four people? Weird. Intriguing, but weird.
    And do you realise that I am a recorded artist? I have TWO LPs, part of a junior high and a high school choir! Yes, to coin a phrase, it truly was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. (Okay, a STATE kinda far way. 😀 )
    I’d love to see something like that. I remember the choir contests our junior high and high school choirs participated in. I had a great time at the junior high one, I got “kidnapped” by an all-black inner-city choir (my junior high was lily white) and got involved in my first food fight! Great times, great music. Though I imagine these games are a bit more … tame. 😉

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    • John,
      Oh yes … there are barbershop quartets and barbershop choruses for men and women. I didn’t see any news reports about food fights at the event, but hey – you never know. Then again, maybe we didn’t hear about it because of media bias or an intentional cover-up. Meanwhile, I’ll stop by my local collectors store to see if I can find the vinyl of your junior high choir. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  2. What a fabulous event and what a great event for your city. Amazing how so many people are involved in choirs! That’s a shame you weren’t able to get paying tickets but I’m really pleased the event was well attended xx

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  3. Wonderful choirs, Frank. Sorry you missed out on the tickets. Thanks for featuring the Stellenbosch choir. 😉 The Namibian choir is also outstanding. Thanks for sharing these videos.

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    • Paradise,
      You are very welcome. South Africa did well here with 10 golds and 3 silvers. Note: One can win a gold but not win the category. Stellenbosch won the category. I think another university choir won something, but I can’t recall their name. Glad you enjoyed these and thanks for commenting.

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  4. I hadn’t thought of attending one before but that is out of ignorance. I bet it was an amazing event and I’m sorry you missed out on some. It would be cool to see all the participants from all over the world.

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      • Frank, I’m a huge fan of African music, so my fav was the COTA Youth Choir. I actually studied African choral music traditions and used some of the techniques when I wrote “Shout for Joy” for my “Trees of Righteousness” suite. I also liked the spontaneous performance by the Venezuelan choir in the lobby; reminded me of a visit to Spain where people would spontaneously start singing and dancing in the plazas and restaurants. But really, I liked all of the choirs – variety is the spice 🙂

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        • I glad you responded because given your profession, I was interested. In picking the videos for this post, I wanted to show different styles … so I think I can say “mission accomplished.” Thanks for sharing your insight!!!

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  5. I sing really well in my car with all the windows up, otherwise dogs howl, cats cry and the police pull me over to determine if I am having a seizure event.

    I so admire those with the gift of music, whether of song or otherwise. Thank you for sharing these!

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  6. As an avid choir singer and competer throughout my high school years, these videos really brought back some great memories. Sad to hear you didn’t get the good tickets, but glad to hear that there was enough interest to sell them all out!

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  7. What an extraordinary event to host. Even though you didn’t get tickets to any of the pay events, it looks like you had a good time. But of course a pity not be able to get the most out of such a happening.

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    • Squishy,
      True. Although I don’t foresee this event returning to us in my lifetime, I wonder if a similar event will make Cincinnati a stop in the future … At least then I will know more what to expect. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

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  8. I know the frustration of misstiming something, I know it can be frustrating.
    I look forward to coming back to your blog later and listening to the video’s. I’m at the library now enjoying the airconditioning and the classical music. :+)

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  9. Frank, I can’t believe you missed out on tickets to this event! If you had asked me (she who knows all 🙂 ) I would have told you to run, not walk to the ticket office!

    Seriously, this looks like it would have been so much fun. Of course, I would have had to drag WW kicking and screaming to them. He hates concerts. (He’s still complaining 37 years later that I drafted him for my bass section of my a capella choir [he has a magnificent voice] and made his participation a caveat for dating me. Ha!)

    I didn’t realize that Kirk Franklin wrote the opening theme song. Nice! Thanks for sharing these clips. They were delightful. Cheers!

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    • E-Tom,
      Believe me, we regret delaying our decision – but heck, at least we admit it. Regarding Kirk Franklin, I think it was here for the opening ceremonies. I have no doubt that you would have enjoyed this event – plus you wouldn’t have delayed decisions as we did! Thanks for visiting.

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  10. I can imagine that you would have been very sorry to have missed more! I’ve had moments, too, when a “once in a decade” event passes us by and I learn of the impact too late to participate. The diversity in music and the international representation would have been exciting for even non-musicians! I hope the success and enthusiasm might be a reason for a repeat performance? I’m glad you shared this with me…I would have missed it! 🙂 Debra

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