Northland News

Columbus International Children's Choir

Youth singers heading to Latvia for World games

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They're going to go for the gold again.

The Columbus International Children's Choir, featuring young singers from throughout central Ohio, was awarded gold and silver medals at the World Choir Games when the competition was held in Cincinnati in 2012.

When they return to the biannual event in July, they face a bit more of a journey.

The 2014 World Choir Games will be held in Riga, Latvia, and are expected to draw in excess of 500 choirs from throughout the world.

"It will be a cultural experience, not only music, but getting to see a different country," said Tatiana Kats, artistic director of the choir she started with a small group of her piano students 15 years ago.

The 169-voice organization's members range in age from 4 to 18.

As a tune-up for this year's World Choir Games, the Columbus International Children's Choir will be singing at each of three worship services at Bethel International United Methodist Church, 1220 Bethel Road, the morning of May 25, according to the Rev. Mike Pratt.

About 40 members of the choir will perform at the traditional service at 9 a.m., the contemporary service at 11 a.m. and the Korean service, also at 11 a.m., Pratt announced last week.

The church is where the choir rehearses on Saturdays.

"The choir now draws students from all over central Ohio and represents many nationalities," Pratt wrote in the performance announcement.

They have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and have been on concert tours to Beijing, Toronto, Chicago and other places, Pratt said.

"Their youngest groups are called Sunny Smiles and Creative Notes. Then they have Rainbow of Voices Choir, Swallow Choir and a High School Ensemble and a Chamber Choir," Pratt wrote.

"They sing in German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French, Russian and many other languages.

"When they all pack into the chancel area of the church for a number, their sound could make the angels weep," Pratt wrote.

In addition to the May 25 appearances, the choir's spring concert is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at Northwest Christian Church, 1340 Fishinger Road.

The Columbus International Children's Choir will leave for Riga July 6, accompanied by 73 adults, Kats said.

"A lot of them already went to Cincinnati and they had so much fun because we were not only competing but we were able to go to workshops," she said. "They make so many friends.

"It was absolutely great so they want to go again. Even my seniors who are off to college, they want to go."

The children and their chaperones will be staying at a four-star hotel in downtown Riga, Kats said, and will be able to see some of the sites in what the native of Russia described from previous visits as a "lovely old city."

The members of the choir appearing at Bethel International United Methodist Church will be performing three different numbers at each of the May 25 services, Pratt said.

They are Gabriel Faure's Tantum Ergo in Latin, Rachmaninoff's Angel in Russian and Every Time I Feel the Spirit in English.

They also will perform in German, Singet dem Herrn, a song written in German and specifically for the trip to Riga. It was written by local composer and conductor Tim Sarsany.

Also, Pratt stated, because it will be Memorial Day weekend, the choir will sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

For more information call Kats at 614-309-2546 or Pratt at 614-592-7648.

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