Rockford HS choirs to return to “Olympics of Choir”

In July 2020, The Rockford High School Touring Choir will be competing alongside hundreds of the finest amateur choirs at the World Choir Games, considered the Olympics of Choir. This Saturday, February 8, they will hold a Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction at Rockford High School to defray costs.

This is the third appearance for Rockford in the World Choir Games, which is held biannually at a new location around the world. The Rockford Aces attended in 2012 in Cincinnati, and in 2014 the Rockford Touring Choir, Treble Chamber Ensemble, and Aces all received Gold Medals for their performances at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. As a result of those performances, all three choirs are ranked among the Top 1,000 choirs in the world, according to Interkultur, the organizer of the Games.

“It’s truly a one-of-a-kind event,” says RHS Director of Choirs Mandy Mikita Scott. “Imagine ten thousand choir singers and family members at the Opening Ceremonies, waving flags and cheering!”

Flanders, Belgium, is the site for the 2020 World Choir Games, which 542 choirs from 69 different countries. There will be dozens of performance and competition locations across the region of Flanders, focused in the cities of Antwerp and Ghent. Rockford will be bringing a contingent of 42 high school singers, as well as chaperones and directors. In addition to Mrs. Scott, Jed Scott directs the Rockford Aces and Renee Vande Wege, Freshman Choir Director, serves as lead chaperone.

The choirs will compete in four different categories. the Rockford Touring Choir (all 42 singers) will compete in the A Cappella Folklore category – a chance to sing music of your native culture. The Rockford Aces (tenors and basses) will compete in two categories: Pop Ensembles, delivering their trademark a cappella pop, and Musica Contemporanea: featuring all new music, including a World Premiere to be composed by their director, Mr. Scott. Finally, the Treble Chamber Ensemble (sopranos and altos) will compete in Youth Choirs of Equal Voices – a category just for choirs made up of sopranos and altos.

Mr. Scott says of the competition, “What’s great about how it’s structured is that it encourages Friendship rather than cutthroat competition. Every choir is judged individually and then given their score. And it’s just as likely for choirs to start singing together on the street.” In addition to the competitions, the organization organizes hundreds of Friendship Concerts shared by multiple choirs from different countries. These will be held indoors and outdoors across the region, at all hours of the day, for the duration of the World Choir Games.

The five days at the World Choir Games will come at the end of a twelve-day European Tour, which will also see the Rockford Choirs perform and sightsee in Paris and Troyes, France and Cologne and Bonn, Germany. They anticipate well-attended performances at major venues in all of those locations. Their last international tour, in 2018, included performances across Italy including providing music for Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Support the Award-Winning Rockford Choirs on their European journey at their February 8 event.

Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction

Saturday February 8, 6pm

Rockford High School

Tickets $10 at www.rocktix.org or $15 at the door

Auction payments accepted by check, credit card, cash, or Venmo

Hundreds of amazing items donated from area businesses and individuals!