World Choir Games USA

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Summary Info Festival StoryFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region United StatesOhio
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Festival Contact Information

Online contact form

Festival Description

INTERKULTUR, the International Organizing Committee of the World Choir Games invites all amateur choirs worldwide to take part. The World Choir Games is the largest international choral competition in the world, taking place every two years. The events are held in a different country each edition and is expected to attract 400 choirs from 70 countries. The festival takes place biennially and will take place for the first time in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012.

INTERKULTUR, the founder of the World Choir Games, is based in Pohlheim, Germany. The foundation organizes choral competitions and festivals all over the world. The registration documents offer an overview of the competition, qualifications for participation and the method of adjudication. Participants have ranged in age from 6 to 96. There are multiple opportunities for participation, including International Friendship concerts and non-competitive evaluations for choirs that prefer not to compete but would like to participate. The Champions Competition and The Open Competition are two separate and distinct competitions, each with its own awards system.

The Champions Competition is for choirs that meet qualification standards that can be found in the “Competition Information.” The Open Competition is for any choir — regardless of artistic achievement — wishing to participate, pending approval from INTERKULTUR.

Festival Dates July 4 - 14, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Story:

INTERKULTUR has ties to 120,000 choirs made up of 4.8 million choral singers around the world. In more than 20 years since INTERKULTUR was established, more than 5,500 choirs and some 250,000 singers from 100 nations have taken part in the World Choir Games and INTERKULTUR’s regional choir competitions. The World Choir Games are dedicated to the Olympic ideal that participation is the highest honor. Previous World Choir Games have taken place in Austria, China, Germany and the Republic of Korea.


Festival Events:

Official song for 2012:
  • Kirk Franklin to write Official Song
    Performance — Wednesday, July 4, 7:00pm at U.S. Bank Arena
    • The Nine-time Grammy Award winner Kirk Franklin, a nationally known Gospel music singer, will compose the Official Song of the 2012 World Choir Games. He will also perform it at the Opening Ceremony. Franklin is an American gospel musician, choir director and singer known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs including The Family, God’s Property and One Nation Crew. Franklin is also the host and executive producer of the gospel talent show “Sunday Best,” the highest-rated gospel program in BET network history. “I’m excited to be part of such a significant global event that is drawing choirs from around the world to Cincinnati, Ohio, and to the United States,” Franklin said. “I am also excited to engage with the choirs and choral music fans as part of the 2012 World Choir Games.” “We are very excited to have one of the great American music stars so involved in the World Choir Games,” said Günter Titsch, president of Germany-based INTERKULTUR, which owns and produces the World Choir Games. “Mr. Franklin is a perfect fit for our event. He will add a lot, not only to the Opening Ceremony, but to the whole competition and festival, where every single singer will play a special part.” Franklin will perform at the Opening Ceremony, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at U.S. Bank Arena. The Opening Ceremony is sponsored by Procter & Gamble Co., the presenting sponsor of the Games and sponsor of the Official Song. Also performing at the Opening Ceremony will be the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and May Festival Chorus.
Musical categories:
  • Children’s Choirs
  • Young Children’s Choirs
  • Youth Choirs of Equal Voices
  • Mixed Youth Choirs
  • Male Choirs
  • Male Chamber Choirs
  • Young Male Choirs
  • Mixed Boys Choirs
  • Female Choirs
  • Female Chamber Choirs
  • Mixed Choirs
  • Mixed Chamber Choirs
  • Musica Sacra
  • Music of Religions
  • Contemporary Music
  • Popular Choral Music
  • Folklore
  • Scenic Folklore (with choreography)
  • Show Choirs
  • Jazz
  • Gospel
  • Spiritual
  • Barbershop
Adjudicators 2012:
  • There will be numerous adjudicators for the World Choir Games, coming from all over the world. Five-person panels of adjudicators will judge The Open Competition, and seven-member panels will judge The Champions Competition. The adjudicators determine the score of each choir’s performance, as well as provide feedback as requested by directors. INTERKULTUR, founder of the World Choir Games, is based in Pohlheim, Germany. They organize choral competitions and festivals all over the world. For the first time in the history of the World Choir Games, the competition will be held in a US city (July 4 - 14, 2012). Cincinnati can look back on a rich musical heritage and was America’s first city in organizing a choral festival! To find out more about the adjudicators and details on the registration deadline, please visit the website at
    • From the US there will be adjudicators such as Kirby Shaw or Rosephanye Dunn Powell. Both are well-known choral conductors and composers with tremendous reputations outside of the US.
    • Other renowned adjudicators include Aida Swenson (Indonesia), Jennifer Tham (Singapore) and Aarne Saluveer (Estonia). All are accomplished and respected throughout the choral world.
    • Christopher Eanes, US adjudicator at an INTERKULTUR event in July in Austria, is preparing the Cincinnati Boychoir for competition in July 2012. He is the director of this local choir and a member of the Musical Advisory Committee for the 2012 World Choir Games.
Noted participant 2012:
  • Morten LauridsenMedal of Arts Recipient to Participate at 2012 World Choir Games
    U.S. Composer Morten Lauridsen is scheduled for Workshops and Concert. Celebrated composer and Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen will be at the 2012 World Choir Games. Lauridsen will collaborate with German conductor Nicol Matt for choral workshops and a highly anticipated evening Celebration Concert. Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR, organizer of the World Choir Games, is happy about this “big deal” for the event: “Organizing the World Choir Games in the U.S. for the first time is a great success for us already. Additionally, to announce the participation of a famous composer like Morten Lauridsen, whose work was recently documented in an award-winning film, and to have him by our side is something very special for all of us!”. The Celebration Concert “Music of the World” (July 11, 2012, 7:30 p.m, Aronoff Center) will premiere a choir of combined area university ensembles to perform the Lauridsen pieces, conducted by Matt. Lauridsen may serve as accompanist. “This is really a concert not to miss for true patrons of choral music,” stated Titsch. “And it will offer a very special evening and an exciting night of outstanding choral music and many good conductors!”. In addition to the performance of Lauridsen’s “Sure on this shining night” and “Dirait-on” from the cycle Les Chansons des Roses (Rainer Maria Rilke), the program will include the Artistic Directors’ choice of international choirs and individual performances of world music. Parts of these performances are the Northern Kentucky University Chamber Choir under the direction of Randy Pennington, Miami University Chamber Chorale conducted by Jeremy Jones, Wright State University Collegiate Chorale directed by Hank Dahlman, Xavier University Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble conducted by Tom Merrill and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir under the direction of conductor Henry Leck. Lauridsen, known throughout the international choral community for his emotionally transcending choral works, was awarded the 2007 Medal of Arts — the highest honor bestowed on an artist by the U.S. government. He is composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and is a professor of music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. A film documentary chronicling Lauridsen’s life and work (“Shining Night” — directed by Michael Stillwater) was premiered in Palm Springs, California, in the United States in February 2012. An excerpt of the movie will be shown during the Celebration Concert. “Shining night” has been awarded highest honors from multiple film festivals, including the Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival.


Other Sources:

  • Video postcard — Countdown to the 2012 World Choir Games


Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Celebration at WCG 2008
    • Kirk Franklin, Official Song Composer 2012
    • Lajuana Miller, 2012 WGC Director of Volunteer Services
    • Mascot - Twirl
    • Voices of Unity (VOU), a choir from Fort Wayne, Indiana, named champion of the 6th World Choir Games in the Gospel and Spiritual category, when they registered for the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati USA, the choir was the first former champion to sign up.
    • Mascot - Whirl
    • Whirl and Twirl Mascots at the Countdown
    • American evening, World Choir Games 2010 (Shaoxing, China)
Registration 2012:
  • Online at INTERKULTUR
Volunteer Services 2012:
  • Veteran event organizer and community leader Lajuana Miller was named the 2012 World Choir Games Director of Volunteer Services. Miller is charged with gathering, organizing and empowering volunteers to help execute the Games and enhance the experiences of the tens of thousands of guests visiting Cincinnati USA for the World Choir Games. Miller will recruit, train and manage 3,500 to 4,000 volunteers, which will be needed in areas including language services, choir support, welcome teams, marketing & communications, operations and production. The 7th World Choir Games, which will take place July 4-14, 2012, is expected to attract 20,000 participants from about 70 countries. In 15 years of producing and executing successful, wide-scale events, along with an abundance of community service, Miller has demonstrated a deep commitment to the Cincinnati community. From 1999-2001, Miller managed the Ujima Cinci-bration, a successful and ground-breaking street festival that provided Jazz Fest concertgoers with a safe and centralized post-event celebration. Miller also has designed and coordinated events for some of Cincinnati’s leading organizations, including the Cincinnati Park Board, the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and a myriad of corporations and non- profit agencies.
  • Nearly 1,000 people have expressed interest in volunteering to date. They will be contacted by email later this month, Miller said. She added that by November, automated volunteer registration software will be installed that will enable those interested in volunteering to register online and select areas of service. To volunteer visit:


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