The Chattanooga Girls Choir traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take part in the World Choir Games July 4-7 and received a silver diploma.
Sixty-four countries were represented at the competition, which was held in the United States for the first time this year.
"With the opportunity to participate, we felt this was the right time for the girls," said LuAnn Holden, director of the choir.
The ensemble from Chattanooga participated in the open competition, meaning no qualification was required to take part, and were recognized as a silver-level youth choir.
Kelsey Hodges, who has been a member of the Chattanooga Girls' Choir for eight years, accepted the silver diploma.
"My experience at the World Choir Games was amazing. I enjoyed interacting with the other choirs," Kelsey wrote in reflection of her time in Cincinnati.
During the time in Cincinnati, the girls had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with Dr. Rollo Dilworth, composer of one of the songs they performed: "Beside the Still Waters."
They also performed a friendship concert -- a public performance -- in the Great American Tower with two choirs from China and received guidance from a choir games adjudicator.
On the bus ride back to Chattanooga, Holden asked the girls to write their reflections on their time at the World Choir Games.
Megan Wingard called her experience "unforgettable."
"The caliber of performance shown by every choir was beyond anything I could have imagined," Megan wrote. "We were in one city with some of the best choirs in the world and got to meet and get to know people from other countries such as England, Namibia and Colombia. The Games were run very professionally and the atmosphere was much like I would imagine the Olympics to be."
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...