By Natalie Bieser
July 11, 2012
The Buzz: After months of anticipation the 2012 World Choir Games have finally arrived. With plenty of pomp and circumstance the Opening Ceremonies kicked off the 11-day Olympics of choir competition on July 4th at U.S. Bank Arena. To date the World choir Games will be the largest and most significant international arts event in the history of Cincinnati as our city is welcoming over 15,000 participants from 64 countries.
The Opening Ceremonies: The World Choir Game Opening Ceremonies began with the procession of the choirs, honored guests and the presentation of all the 64 flags represented at the games. Crowds cheered as their country’s name was announced and their flags paraded up on the main stage. The U.S.A. flag was the last to take the stage and the crowd went wild. The Cincinnati POPS Orchestra and May Festival Chorus led the National Anthem and the World Choir Games Anthem.
The games officially began when the World Choir Game Peace Bell (made right here in Cincinnati at the historic Verdin Bell Company) was rung seven times as a call for nations to unite and sing in peace.
The Background: Founded on the Olympic ideals, “Aiming to peacefully unify singing people and nations connected by song in fair competition,” the World Choir Games are an international choir festival that take place every two years on different continents. This is the first time EVER the games are being held in North America, and Cincinnati beat out 20 other cities to host the games–a huge win for our city and country.
Noteworthy: (facts to be used on your upcoming Jeopardy stint)
1.) The World Choir Games Champions Trophy was designed by a local artist and produced at the historic Rookwood Pottery Company.
2.) The Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals awarded to choirs in the Champions Competition of the World Choir Games were locally designed and produced by Thompson Gifts.
3.) The World Choir Games Poster was designed by Cincinnati native and award-winning illustrator, C.F. Payne and produced by RPI Graphics of Cincinnati.
4.) Whirl, the World Choir Games Mascot was created by a Mount Washington-based designer.
Upcoming: Whether or not you are a fan of choral performance, music is the shared language of the world. There are over 200 plus events on schedule for the World Choir Games but only four more days to check out the remaining events, concerts and ceremonies.
The best way to know where to go and to stay up to date with WCG news is to check the World Choir Games website. Of course, iSPYCINCY will continue to snap photos throughout the games, which we’ll share on our Facebook and Twitter pages so be sure to follow us to keep tabs on all the inside deets.
Copenhagen Girls Choir performing at Corbett Theater at the SCPA
Upcoming World Choir Games events that you will not want to miss:
Celebrations Concerts: July 11th & July 12th at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronoff Center’s P&G Hall
*Friendship Concert: July 12th at 8:30 p.m. at Below Zero Lounge
Champions Concert: July 14th at 2 p.m. at Music Hall
Awards Ceremonies July 13th at 7 p.m. U.S. Bank Arena
Closing Ceremonies: July 14th at 7 p.m. at U.S. Bank Arena. Event features Tony Award-winning performer Idina Menzel, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the May Festival Chorus.
*Denotes that the event is free to attend. Cincinnati’s own Young Professionals Choral Collective will be performing with choirs from Brazil and Poland.
Alright Cincinnati, they say we are the city that sings. Time to warm up those vocal chords.
Photo credits: Natalie Bieserto top ↑