Since 2009, children from around the globe have traveled great distances to Northern Michigan to join in an international celebration of peace and harmony presented by Voices Without Borders (VWB) of Petoskey.
The Czech Republic, China, Mongolia, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Thailand, Belgium and Canada have been well represented in the festivals, along with performances by the Kalamazoo Children’s Choir, the Little Traverse Youth Choirs, local Odawa dancers, Dance Attack from Mancelona, Dancers Without Borders, and the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band.
Hundreds of families throughout the state have opened their homes to greet these young musicians and dancers so they could enjoy getting to know each other better.
These young people have learned first-hand that despite their apparent differences, they have a great deal in common; and as we all learn more about each other, we find common ground.
When they return home, they discover their new friendships reach across thousands of miles and last a lifetime.
This year, travelling more than 5,500 miles from the frozen Steppes of central Russia, the Little Eagles of Siberia will soar into our northern Michigan festival.
Joining them, from beautiful warm and tropical Southeast Asia, will be the Vinschool ensemble from Hanoi, Vietnam, singing and dancing their way into our hearts.
Europe is represented by the Tookula Youth Choir, from Minden, Germany, touring Michigan with the Blue Lake International Exchange Program.
These outstanding groups of young singers will be joined by our own Little Traverse Youth Choirs, local Odawa Dancers and young performers from Highland Dance North.
VWB Artistic Director and Festival Producer, Jack Kukuk, stated that he is excited by the return of the Little Eagles to the Festival.
The choir performed in the 2002 Children of the World in Harmony Festival in Beijing, China and will be the first Russian choir to perform in northern Michigan.
Please join us for Northern Michigan concerts in Charlevoix, Petoskey, in Boyne City on Thursday, July 20 at the Boyne City Education Center at 7 p.m., Cheboygan, Beaver Island, and at the beautiful Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center where on Friday, July 21, the children will join in a gala concert featuring all 160 singers and dancers.
All festival ensembles plus the Voices Without Borders International Festival Choir will perform at the Gala Concert.
The program will conclude with the 175-voice Massed Choir singing Let There be Peace on Earth.
Voices Without Borders is proud to be supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Petoskey Area Community Foundation, the Petoskey and Harbor Springs Chambers of Commerce, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, the Northern Michigan Chorale, and the Little Traverse Choral Society.
VWB is also supported by several local family foundations, by many local businesses and over a hundred families and individuals.
We are graced by a very generous community and thank all who have helped.
Tickets for the Gala Concert are available online at https://squareup.com/store/voices-without-borders/ at the Harbor Springs and Petoskey Chambers of Commerce and at the door the night of the performance.
Please visit www.vwbchoir.com for a complete schedule of events.