World Choir Games kick off in Cincinnati - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

World Choir Games kick off in Cincinnati

Singers arrive in Cincinnati for the World Choir Games Singers arrive in Cincinnati for the World Choir Games

Cincinnati is the singing capital of the world for the next ten days.

The World Choir Games is the Olympics of choral music. For more than a decade, the Games have united people from around the world through the power of song and in the spirit of friendly competition.

Throughout the event's history, more than 2,000 choirs have participated in competitions across Europe and Asia. In 2012, the World Choir Games is taking place in the United States for the first time ever. Hundreds of choirs and thousands of visitors have come to Cincinnati to share their cultural heritage and to celebrate our global community with music, the common language of the world.

Over 20,000 people attended opening ceremonies at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night.


With 200+ cool events, you have plenty of choices for what to do and see. We've defined some of those events below. Also, make sure to check out our dynamic, sortable event calendar, making it easier for you to search for and choose events to attend.

Components of the Games

Of the participating choirs close to 60 percent will compete in the first week (some choirs may perform across the two weeks).

Competition at the World Choir Games is divided into two separate and distinct divisions (The Champions Competition and The Open Competition), each with its own international jury and awards system.

Musical Categories

Choirs compete in 23 musical categories (11 in the first week; 12 in the second week), from Musica Sacra and Chamber Choir to Jazz, Scenic Folklore, Barbershop and Gospel.


The Opening Ceremony (July 4): The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and May Festival Chorus headline the Opening Ceremony which includes the ringing of the Peace Bell, the presentation of flags and a performance of "I Can - the Official Song of the 2012 World Choir Games" by nine-time Grammy winner and gospel star Kirk Franklin and the Cincinnati One in Song Choir, consisting of members from Voices of Unity, the Fort Wayne, Indiana 2010 Gospel & Spiritual Champion of the World Choir Games; and Cincinnati's two Champions Competition Gospel Choirs - Peace & Serenity, a group with members in Cincinnati and New York; and Calvary Choir, regional winner of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Verizon "How Sweet the Sound" competition.

The Champions Competition (July 5-6-7, 11-12-13): The Champions Competition is reserved for the best of the best. Amateur choirs may apply, but all participants are chosen by an artistic committee for their proven concert ability and for their previous experience performing at international competitions. The Champions Competition choirs compete for the title of Champion of the World Choir Games.

The Open Competition (July 5-6-7, 11-12-13): At the World Choir Games, participation is the highest honor. The Open Competition is for any choir, regardless of artistic achievement. Competitors in The Open Competition are mostly amateur choirs and those new to international competition looking to gain valuable performance experience. 

Awards Ceremonies (July 7, 8, 13, 14): At the end of each week of competition, Awards Ceremonies are held. The Open Competition participants may receive gold, silver or bronze diplomas in their musical categories based on judges' scores. The Champions Competition participants may receive gold, silver or bronze medals in their musical categories based on judges' scores. There are multiple winners of diplomas and medals in each category. The gold-medal winner with the highest score in each category of The Champions Competition is named Champion of the World Choir Games. The champions come to the stage and their country's flag is raised as their national anthem is played.

Celebration Concerts (July 5, 6, 8, 11, 12): There are eight Celebration Concerts that unite multiple choirs for 60- to 90-minute shows that provide a sample of World Choir Games competitions. Participation is determined by the Artistic Committee of the World Choir Games.

Champions Concerts (July 8, 14): Choirs earning the titles of 2012 Champion of the World Choir Games perform at special concerts emceed by Drew Lachey.

Parade of Nations (July 10): Participating choirs take part in this musical and colorful procession from the Duke Energy Convention Center to Fountain Square.

Friendship Concerts: There will be approximately 60 free performances by World Choir Games participants in city squares, public venues, churches, streets and malls.

The Closing Ceremony (July 14): Tony Award-winning performer Idina Menzel, Grammy Award-winning performer Marvin Winans, the Cincin¬nati Pops Orchestra and May Festival Chorus headline the Opening Ceremony, which includes a presentation from 2014 World Choir Games host city Riga, Latvia, the ringing of the Peace Bell and a mass choir of 750 singing together.

Location of the events 

There are many competition venues and all are in a walk-able grid in downtown Cincinnati USA or in surrounding neighborhoods. For a complete list of venues and events, click here.

Ticket Pricing 

Opening Ceremony ($75, $45, $25)

Closing Ceremony ($50, $35, $20)

Awards Ceremonies ($20, $15)

Champions Concerts ($60, $46, $35)

Celebration Concerts ($42, $35, $28)

One-day Competition Flex Passes ($15)

Three-day Competition Flex Passes ($40)

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