Under the Hat: All the Right Notes - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: All the Right Notes

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It may not have been as riveting as the Miracle on Ice or tiny Butler's dramatic rise in NCAA basketball, but to a small group of kids from Erie, Pennsylvania, it was close.

This was the World Choir Games, and if you haven't heard of them, they are much like an Olympics for singers.

As with the Olympics, people from around the world gather every few years to compete for gold and silver medals.

As with the Olympics, there are opening and closing ceremonies too.

By some accounts the Young People's Chorus of Erie had no business even submitting an audition.

This is a small group from a small town having never stepped foot on this kind of world stage.

 This competition was coming from places like China, and Norway, Nigeria and the Philippines.

But the event that is hosted all over the world was going to be in North America for the first time, in the relatively close city of Cincinnati, Ohio, so what the heck?

All that would be wasted would be a little postage.

They submitted as three separate youth choirs: basically men, women and combined.

Imagine their surprise when all three were accepted to the Games.

Imagine the jitters looking out at thousands of singers from hundreds of choirs there for the same reason.

But they had trained like athletes, going over the songs for hours. They were required to conform to dress codes, be punctual and get plenty of food and sleep and water.

When the spotlight came on, that training kicked in. Their performances, in Olympic parlance, stuck their landings.

The men won gold, the women silver, and the combined not only won gold but finished high enough overall to win a spot in the champion's bracket at the next World Games.

Which are in Latvia, by the by.

This is a program that hits all the right notes.

It preaches the universality of music; across languages and cultures and skin color.

It seeks diversity, not only in race, but in economic status. Scholarship funds are available so that kids with talent but lesser means can still perform.

And most of all it teaches that if you work hard, if you really dedicate yourself to a task, you can achieve great, even stunning success.

And that's true whether you live in Oslo, or Tokyo, or Erie Pennsylvania.

So congratulations to the Young People's Chorus of Erie.  Job well done.

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