The Olympics of choral music continued to rock the city of Cincinnati, specifically the Mayerson JCC, on Monday, July 9, as part of the 7 World Choir Game. It not only rocked but brought people to tears.
The concert (one of the 58 Friendship Concerts planned for the Greater Cincinnati area) featured three choral ensembles: Poland’s Vox Juventutis Choir—an adult mixed choir from the State School of Higher Professional Education; the Prime Note Ensemble —an acappella choir composed of Filipino expatriates from Southern California; and Israel’s Ankor Choir—a group of 25 female students of The Jerusalem Academy High School of Music and Dance.
In the highlight of the evening, all three choirs joined for an encore performance of “I can,” The World Choir theme song.
There was a definite over flow of people who came to hear these beautiful voices. An estimated 700 people came to hear these groups sing. As the first choir took the stage a silence fell over the audience. When the currents opened, their first note rang out and everyone was drawn in.
When the Israeli choir Ankor took the stage, Ha Tikfa the Israeli national anthem was finally sang. The Ha Tikfa itself is a haunting melody that echoes in you. This time was different. It didn’t only echo it lasted. You could feel everyone in the audience was transfixed and emotionally connected to Ankor and the land of Israel in a whole new way.
People were crying at the end of it. Some were cheering others were whistling. It didn’t matter what religion, race, or background you were. Something about the Ha Tikfa stole the crowd and made them feel as one.
Needless to say people were dazzled and inspired spiritually that night.
This was the largest non-competition performance of The Ankor Choir—best known for its partnership with Yad VaShem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum—one that Choir director Dafna Ben-Yohana hopes will offer a “different taste of Israel” to Cincinnati.
The Ankor Choir—seasoned from performing for dignitaries from around the world, including Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton,as well as from their steady participation in the annual Yom HaShoa ceremony,— was more than prepared the to compete (along with 350 choirs from more than 48 countries)for the title of Champion in The World Choir Games.
During their second week of their U.S. tour, The Ankor Choir will perform at Cedar Village retirement community, Heritage Baptist Church, and Wise Temple, along with other congregations. The choir will also lead an interactive song activity at the Mayerson JCC’s Camp at the J
The Jewish Foundation, as part of its investment in the community in terms of culture and diversity brought and sponsored the Ankor Choir— in its quest for outreach, awareness and a greater diversity.
The concert was Presented by the Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas at the JCC, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.