Voices Without Borders (VWB) is pleased to announce that youth performers from China, Vietnam.

Ireland, Canada, and the United States will participate in the 23 rd Children of the World in Harmony

Festival to be presented July 15-20, 2019. The host choirs are the Little Traverse Youth & Treble


Since 2009, children from around the globe have traveled great distances to northern Michigan to join

in this international celebration of peace and harmony presented by Voices Without Borders (VWB) of

Petoskey. They’ve come from China, Mongolia, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Democratic

Republic of Congo, Finland, Thailand, Belgium, Russia, Vietnam, Canada and several states in the

United States.

Join us at northern Michigan performances in the Boyne City Performing Arts Center, the Cheboygan

Opera House, Music in Mackinaw, several area churches, and at the beautiful new Great Lakes

Center for the Arts where on Friday, July 19th, these young performers 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 on the Gala Concert. The program will conclude with the 200-

voice Massed Choir singing Let There be Peace on Earth. Voices Without Borders receives support

for the Festival from the Petoskey - Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, several family

foundations, local businesses, service clubs, and individual contributors. We thank them all for their

support. Tickets for the Gala Concert at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts are available online and at

the door the night of the performance.

From Ireland, traveling 3,373 mi is Gluais, a music and dance group of 40 musicians, singers and

dancers from Trim, Ireland. The Little Traverse Youth Choir visited Trim on their musical tour to

Ireland and Scotland last summer. The Youth Choir’s visit was the first stage in the Twinning between

Boyne City, Michigan and the Boyne River Valley in Eastern Ireland. Gluais has performed for the

President of Ireland and then went on to perform an afternoon concert in the gardens of Áras an

Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President. Gluais has also performed at Disney (Paris) the

Walton’s Music for Schools Competition and in the finale at the National Concert Hall. Gluais

represented Ireland at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France. GLUAIS is directed by Mícheál


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. Sol Art regularly 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 corners of the earth

to sing and dance for thousands of thrilled audience members. Dr. Yip Wai Hong founder of Yip’s

Children’s Choir was also a founder, in 1982, of the Children of the World in Harmony Festivals.

Mariachi Espuelas de Plata (Silver Spurs) of Fort Worth, Texas were named Grand Champions of

the Jose Hernandez Mariachi Nationals in Los Angeles. They have created an impressive reputation

throughout the country and internationally. They won the high school division in the Mariachi

Spectacular de Albuquerque and performed at world-renowned Carnegie Hall and at the Mariachi

Vargas Extravaganza in Mexico City. Following their appearance in Michigan, the group will tour to

Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Ramon Nino, director of the group stated that they are

honored to perform in the Children of the World Festival to represent Texas and the United States.


The Crystal Children’s Choir, founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994 will join the festival.

The choir consists primarily of Chinese American singers and 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 they aspire to be

cultural ambassadors of children’s choral music, especially in the field of Chinese folksongs and newly

commissioned works.

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 this summer to conduct the

Festival Choir and to meet and direct the talented young singers of the Little Traverse Youth Choir.

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 depart for home, they often

discover that they have developed close friendships Voices Without Borders welcomes all of our visiting guests and wish them well as they travel from their homes. Please consider yourself a part of our VWB Worldwide Family. 



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.