Voices Without Borders (VWB) Festival Producer and Artistic Director, Jack Kukuk, announced today
three of several groups that will be participating in VWB’s 23 rd Children of the World in Harmony
Festival to be presented July 15-21, 2019. The host choirs of the festival are the Little Traverse Youth
and Treble Choirs.

Mariachi Espuelas de Plata (Silver Spurs) were named Grand Champions of the Mariachi Nationals
at the Jose Hernandez Mariachi Nationals in Los Angeles. This kind of accolade is not unusual for
North Side High School’s Mariachi band. They have created an impressive reputation throughout the
country and internationally. In 2013, the group also won first place in the high school division in the
Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque 2013 and in 2014, they performed at world-renowned Carnegie
Hall in New York City. In 2016, the Silver Spurs performed at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in
Mexico City. Following their appearance in northern Michigan, the group will tour to Germany,
Austria and the Czech Republic. Ramon Nino, director of the group stated that they are honored to be
invited to perform in the Children of the World Festival to represent Texas and the United States.
Gluais, a music and dance group from Trim, Ireland has officially accepted our invitation to the 2019
Festival. The Little Traverse Youth Choir visited Trim Ireland on their musical tour to Ireland this past
June. The choirs visit was the first stage in the Twinning between Boyne City, Michigan and the
Boyne River Valley in Eastern Ireland. Gulais was invited to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet the president
and then to perform an afternoon concert in the gardens of Áras an Uachtaráin. Gluais has also
performed at Disney (Paris) the Waltons Music for Schools Competition and in the finale at the
National Concert Hall. GLUAIS represented Ireland at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France.

The Crystal Children’s Choir was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994. The choir consists
primarily of Chinese American singers, has toured Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America, and
has performed at such prestigious venues as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, Taipei National Concert
Hall, Sydney Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Beijing Concert Hall. The
choir has won awards and praises in the music festivals they have attended. Karl Chung, President of
the Crystal Children’s Choir Association says the they aspire to be cultural ambassadors of children’s
choral music, especially in the field of Chinese folksongs and newly commissioned works.

Traveling 7,794 miles from Hanoi, Vietnam are members of the Sol Art Choir of the Vietnam National
Academy of Music. This year’s Festival will mark the 5th time Sol Arts’ Vinschool has participated in
Voices Without Borders programs in Michigan. In addition to their participation With Voices Without
Borders, Sol Art has participated in regular exchanges with Europe’s leading experts in music
education. Sol Art’s Director, Dang Chau Anh said she has a great passion to develop chorus arts for
children in Vietnam and beyond. She says “Chorus is a special language and has positive impacts on
children’s personalities. 

Also. from Asia, traveling almost as far as Sol Arts is Yip’s Children’s Choir from Hong Kong. These
children will travel 7,598 miles to share their talent and culture with us. This will be the third time
members of Yip’s Children’s Choirs have traveled to Michigan to sing in the Children of the World in
Harmony Festivals. For more than 50 years, Yips choirs have traveled to the far coners of the earth to
sing an dance for thousands of thrilled audience members.

Dr. Kukuk also announced that Dr. William Skoog, Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of
Choral Studies at Rhodes College has agreed to direct the 60-voice VWB International Festival Choir
at the 2019 Festival. Dr; Skoog was the director of the Dublin Choral Festival Choir in Ireland this past
summer in which the Little Traverse Youth Choir performed. He has conducted International Choral
Festivals in Lucerne, Rome, France, and the Czech Republic. He also conducted a special President’s
Day Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. and special performances at Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Skoog says that he is excited to come to Michigan next summer to conduct the Festival Choir and
to meet and direct the talented young singers of the Little Traverse Youth Choir.
Other festival participants will be announced later this year.



July 16-21, 2019 - (subject to change)


Youth choirs and dance ensembles are invited to apply to participate in the 2019 Children of the World in Harmony Festival in Petoskey, Michigan, USA. Groups wishing to apply must agree to the general guidelines below. Since space is limited, applications should be submitted at your earliest convenience. 

The Festival will be presented from July 16-21, 2019 (subject to change) in and around Petoskey, Michigan, USA. All participants, groups and individuals will provide their own travel to and from the festival, and will arrive in Petoskey on the date designated by the festival committee. 

Early applications are suggested.


FESTIVAL OBJECTIVES: The objectives of festival are:
     - to present outstanding children’s and youth choirs or dance and instrumental ensembles from

          around the world to promote and advance children and youth choral singing and dance,

     -    to bring together children and youth choirs, dance, and other performing ensembles in order to    

           share music and dance, exchange cultural ideas and experiences, and to promote peace and       

           better understanding among the participants,

     -    to create a dialogue on peace through joint concerts, social activities, and home stays,

MUSICAL/ARTISTIC OBJECTIVES: The musical/artistic focus of the festival will be to present music and dance of the highest quality drawn from the traditional, folk, classical and contemporary styles of the participating choirs and dance ensembles.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGEThe official language of the festival is English.

PARTICIPANTS: Choirs, dance ensembles, and other performing groups interested in applying may request application forms by contacting the Festival Coordinator, Dr. Jack Kukuk, at choralfest1@gmail.com   Application forms are available online. Click here.

APPLICATION: All groups wishing to participate must submit a signed application form, a recent photograph of the group and director, a recent DVD, YouTube link or CD (labeled with group’s and conductor's name); a description of the choir and the conductor; and a non-refundable festival deposit of $150. Application and deposit deadline is November 15, 2018. Early applications may be advantageous to the applicant. The festival organizers may extend this deadline if necessary. Contact the Festival Coordinator at choralfest1@gmail.com  for application forms and other information. Groups will be notified of their selection by November 30, 2018. All decisions regarding participation will be made by the Festival Coordinator and Festival Committee.

FEES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND PARTICIPATING & ASSOCIATE CHOIRS: (all fees are in US Dollars):  All participants, groups and individuals will provide their own travel to and from the festival, and will arrive in Petoskey, Michigan on the date designated by the festival committee.  Participating groups pay a non-refundable application fee of $150; Associate groups pay a non-refundable application fee of $75. In addition, each individual participant will pay a fee of $250 to help cover organizational costs for the festival including local Transportation, lodging and meals.

FEE DEADLINES, NOTIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION:  Fifty percent (50%) of the participant’s fees are due on or before November 30, 2018. Balance of all fees is due on or before April 1, 2019.  Fees may be paid by electronic mail. Ask for details at choralfest1@gmail.com

SIZE OF PARTICIPATING GROUPS: If a participating group brings a total of more than forty participants, an additional housing fee of $50 per person will be assessed.

VOICES WITHOUT BORDERS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CHOIR:  Choirs who do not send a full choir are encouraged to associate with the festival by sending children to sing in the Voices Without Borders International Festival Choir: The non-refundable application fee for Associate Choirs is $100. Associate choirs may nominate up to six singers.  These singers, along with singers from other Participating Choirs and Associate Choirs will form the Voices Without Borders International Festival Choir.  Nominations for membership in the VWB Festival Choir should be made as soon as possible, but in no case later than December 1, 2018.  Space in this choir is limited. The choir’s director or other representative adult will accompany their singers to the festival and be responsible for them throughout the festival.  The festival’s artistic committee will select the music and conductor for the VWB Choir.  Fees for the VWB Choir members will be the same as for other participants (see below). VWB Choir members must agree to memorize all music prior to coming to the festival.

OBLIGATION OF PARTICIPANTS:  Participants are expected to memorize all music for the massed choir (all festival participants) and must attend all rehearsals and performances unless otherwise excused by the Festival Director.  Each choir will supervise their own members at all times. Each participant’s family or choir is responsible for the medical and dental expenses incurred during the festival or on the way to and from the festival.  Each participant must have a certification of insurance with them upon arrival. All participants, directors, accompanists, and adult supervisors give permission to the Festival Committee to photograph, film, videotape, and record their voices, images, and performances for use in a Festival tape, CD, DVD, film, video, or printed materials.  Participation in the festival signifies acceptance of these obligations.


- provide all transportation to and from the festival (Petoskey, Michigan),

- provide medical/dental insurance for each participant,

- provide 3-6 members for the Voices Without Borders Choir (choirs only),

- provide complete biographical information on the group & director & a group and director


- abide by all international copyright laws and perform only music or dance that in the public domain   

    for which the group has purchased the music and/or obtained the rights to perform said works.  

    Festival organizers will not be responsible for the failure of the groups to do so,

-supervise the members of their own groups.  The actual number of adult supervisors will depend on

   the size of the group.  Chaperones are to maintain proper discipline and monitor behavior and  

   health matters of their group.  Smoking and alcohol are not permitted at the festival. Common

   courtesy among all participants is expected.

DEFINITION OF PARTICIPATING GROUPS:   Music – Traditional, classic, or contemporary musical groups who sing or perform on traditional or contemporary acoustical musical instruments.

Dance – folkloric dance groups accompanied by traditional instruments (either live or recorded).  

REPERTOIRE:  All music groups are expected to perform some of the traditional songs/music/dance from their own culture, region or country.  Groups may also perform classical and contemporary choir music or dance from throughout the world.

Choirs must send a sample list of the program they expect to perform with the application.   If copies are used, written permission must be obtained from the publisher giving permission to use copies.  If the music is unpublished, the choir must have permission from the owner to perform the music. We also need written permission giving the festival hosts the right to record or film the music for a festival tape, video tape, CD, or broadcast.   Copyright permission to perform the music on your program is your responsibility and choirs will hold harmless the festival presenters and agents for any violations.

MUSIC FOR THE VOICES WITHOUT BORDERS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CHOIR AND MASSED CHOIR will be sent to the participants after final selections are made.  All participants are expected to sing in the Massed Choir at the conclusion of the Gala Concert and must learn the music prior to arriving at the Festival.

MEALS, LODGING, AND ACCOMMODATIONS:  Meals, accommodations, and local travel will be provided in private homes by the festival hosts unless other arrangements are made in advance.  In some rare instances, dormitories, hotels, or similar lodging may be used.

COMPETITION:  There is no competition during the Festival.  The festival committee believes this more readily promotes friendship and understanding among the participants.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:   Dates and times are subject to change. The festival is scheduled from July 16 through July 21, 2019.  A detailed schedule of events will be provided once all participating groups have been selected. Please contact us to confirm arrival dates and times prior to ordering airline tickets.

SOCIAL AND SPECIAL EVENTS:  Limited local sightseeing and social activities will be provided by the hosts.

FORCE MAJEURE:  The festival hosts, their officers and agents will make every effort to produce the festival as outlined in these and other materials.  If, for reasons beyond their control, the Festival must be altered or canceled, the festival hosts, their officers or agents may not be held responsible for money received for fees, sightseeing, or other purposes that has already been paid by the festival committee on behalf of the participants and which is not refundable.  Fees not otherwise expended will be returned to the applicants. All participants agree to hold harmless the festival hosts their officers, employees and volunteers.

CORRESPONDENCE:  All correspondence must be addressed to the following:

Voices Without Borders

9156 E. Avenida las Noches

Gold Canyon, AZ 85118 USA


Tel +480 236 2196

The above information is subject to change as necessary.