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Xavier competes in World Choir Games

By Kevin Tighe
On August 20, 2012

The World Choir Games came to North America for the first time in the event's history, and transformed Cincinnati into a center of choral performance.
Xavier University sent its own Edgecliffe Vocal Ensemble (EVE)-a group of current undergraduate
students and alumni conducted by Tom Merrill, PhD. Not only that, but Xavier also acted as a host to numerous
different countries, housing them in its residence halls.
The World Choir Games lasted from July 4 to July 14 and occurs every two years. According to the World Choir Games website, the mission of the Games is to: "unite people from all nations through singing in peaceful competition."
This year 47 different countries
performed, with the United States bringing the most individual
choirs. Numerous countries
ranging from the Bahamas to Zimbabwe could only afford to send one.
The World Choir Games was separated by numerous genres of choir-based performances, such as choral or jazz, and then further separated by different
tiers, having a Champion for medals and an Open Competition for diplomas.
Evan Herbert, a Xavier University student expecting to graduate in May of 2013 and local
Cincinnati citizen performed in the World Choir games, representing
his city and Xavier in EVE.
"It was a once-in-a-life-time kind of thing, like the Olympics of music," Herbert said. "And the fact that it was in our backyard,
not to mention earning
a silver medal, was simply incredible."
Patrick Briody, a Xavier University alum of 2011 and current graduate student in the Xavier Health Service Administration program from Buffalo, New York, performed in the World Choir Games as well. Briody sang with both the EVE and another group, the Young Professionals Choral Collective, a group founded last fall with the mission to support local businesses through choral performance. "It was an unexpected
and life changing event," Briody said.
"I have been around music my whole life and it wasn't until the World Choir Games that I fully appreciated the power of music in everyone's lives."
Herbert echoed Briody's sentiments
toward the games.
"Music is something that speaks to everyone," Herbert said. "We were able to celebrate, bond and share this unique gift [of music] despite location, language,
nationality etc."
Additionally, both Herbert and Briody emphasized how grateful they were that the event aided in the rejuvenation of Cincinnati.
"The plethora of positive reviews
that the city of Cincinnati got from the rest of the world was shocking," Briody said. "It gave me, and probably the rest of the city, further hope and acted as a catalyst for further revitalization."
The next games with be two years from now in Latvia and, according to Herbert, Xavier hopes to participate again in some fashion.

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