Local Idol tops "Cincinnati Singing" event on Fountain Square

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A member of Cincinnati City Council is hoping to get the Queen City known as the city that sings with some help from a local American Idol contestant.

Council Member Laure Quinlivan tells Fox 19 News that "Cincinnati's Singing," a music video promoting the City and starring celebrities with strong Cincinnati ties, debuts Thursday at 5pm on the Square in a free event with performances by American Idol Finalist Eben Franckewitz and many local choirs. Mayor Mark Mallory and Council Members will be there, as well as Pops Director John Morris Russell and local media personalities.

"My goal for the video is to build a memorable national image for Cincinnati," says Council member Laure Quinlivan, Chair of the Council committee that oversees arts, culture, and marketing.

Quinlivan says she secured the rights to John Fogerty's classic song "Proud Mary," wrote lyrics to highlight Cincinnati's musical history, and enlisted Cincinnati's Bootsy Collins to produce the song. He also stars in the video. The PPS Group donated production services and shot the video with Quinlivan and celebrities in key Cincinnati locations in April. Quinlivan raised private dollars to fund the video project.

Stars singing in the video: talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer, Cincinnati residents and entertainers Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey, Green Hills native Naked Cowboy (Robert Burck), Liberty Township resident and BET comedian & actor Gary Owen, Milford resident and American Idol finalist Eben Franckewitz, and Clermont County resident and international funk master Bootsy Collins.

"I'm grateful to the celebrities who agreed to star in this video for free, out of love for Cincinnati. We also feature some great local singers and dancers," says Quinlivan.

The featured local performers are from School for Creative & Performing Arts, Cincinnati Ballet II Company, UC's College-Conservatory of Music, and McAuley High School.

Sixteen year-old singing sensation Eben Franckewitz will perform and help us teach "Cincinnati's Singing" to the crowd at Fountain Square. Choirs performing at the event:

• Gamble Montessori High School Choir

• MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir

• Martin Luther King Chorale

• Aiken College & Career High School Choir

• Voices of Warren County

• The Kolping Society

• Cincinnati Opera

The "Cincinnati's Singing" music video will play on the big screen at Fountain Square, as choirs take turns singing. The videos will then be available on YouTube/CitythatSings.

Quinlivan also wants citizens to create their own versions of the music video and upload them to the YouTube/CityThat Sings, for a chance to win cash prizes. Judges that include Fox 19's Sheila Gray and Tricia Macke will choose the winners.

Categories and prizes for the "Cincinnati's Singing" music video contest:

$1000 Best Overall Video

$ 500 Best Musical Performance

$ 500 Best Remix

$ 500 Judge's Favorite

Quinlivan says the music video project began in January, after City Council unanimously supported her proposal to brand Cincinnati as 'the City that Sings,' at least through the World Choir Games. The slogan was proposed by Bob Stevie, Director of the Cincinnati Sister Cities Organization, after participating in discussions of Cincinnati's image in Strategic Growth Committee meetings in 2011.

The City That Sings slogan has been incorporated on 500 flower planters placed through downtown for the World Choir Games. Visitors who arrive at the airport will see billboards splashed with 'Cincinnati, The City that Sings,' and the slogan appears on a new wall mural by the Purple People Bridge. Quinlivan hopes the music video will be a hit on the Internet, and she produced a thirty second version for TV and radio stations to air as a public service announcement.

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