The 2012 World Choir Games countdown clock on Fountain Square is ticking away the minutes. Zero hour arrives on July 4. That’s when 400 choirs from 70 countries and thousands of international visitors will converge on Cincinnati, Ohio. World Choir Games have been held previously in Korea and Germany, and twice in China and Austria. Cincinnati is ready to host the event’s American debut.
The 2012 World Choir Games website calls it the “Olympics of Choral Music.” Choirs will come together for seven days of choral competitions. Participants will dress in the traditional outfits of the countries they represent. They will be judged in 23 musical categories, including barbershop, jazz, pop, gospel and folklore.
Getting ready for the Games
Cincinnati began preparations for this international event long before Drew Lachey hosted the 2012 World Choir Games Countdown Celebration last July. As the official clock ticked away the year, organizing committees, volunteers, music and art enthusiasts have been working on last minute details:
Events have been scheduled to take place at Aronoff Center for the Arts, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati Masonic Center, Music Hall, School for the Creative and Performing Arts and other venues within a “walkable grid” accessible from the Downtown Cincinnati area.
Gospel artist and nine time Grammy winner, Kirk Franklin, has written “I Can,” the 2012 World Choir Games official song. He will be in Cincinnati to perform the song at the opening ceremonies.
“Big Pig Gig 2012: Do-Re-Wee” pigs will welcome 2012 World Choir Games visitors. The public art project is Artworks’ smaller version of “Big Pig Gig” 2000. Sponsors paid for life-sized pigs, and artists and organizations embellished them. The “Do-Re-Wee” pigs will be placed in Downtown locations. Several pigs are already in place at the Fifth and Vine corner of Fountain Square.
” Art For All”: Taft Museum of Art’s 80th anniversary coincides with the 2012 World Choir Games, and they’re celebrating with public art. The museum had 80 paintings reproduced to withstand outdoor conditions. The paintings will remain in place at Fountain Square, Music Hall, Cincinnati Museum Center and 73 other public locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky until September. The Taft Museum of Art website has a downloadable location map of all 80 artworks.
Choral competition tickets start at $15. Opening Celebration prices range from $25. to $150., but families on a tight budget will still have access to free performances:
“Celebrations of Nations” will take place on July 6 At 6:00 p. m. Choirs will parade through town and end with a party on Fountain Square.
Friendship Concerts – Choral groups will perform in free public events in parks, streets, malls and other city venues. The World Choir Games website will post a schedule in the coming weeks.
The 2012 World Choir Games will take place from July 4 to 14. For a full list of events, visit 2012worldchoirgames.com.