During the week of July 17-24, 2017, Voices Without Borders (VWB) presented the Children of the World in Harmony International Youth Choir & Dance Festival in the "Tip of the Mitt" area of northern Michigan. The festival brought children and youth from around the World to sing and dance in a variety of settings throughout the Little Traverse Bay Area. We were excited to welcome more than 150 youths, from 8-19 years of age to Northern Michigan! Major groups included:

The Little Eagles of Siberia

LITTLE EAGLES OF SIBERIA -  From the city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia 5,500 miles from Petoskey comes an ensemble guaranteed to rekindle your faith in music and youth! The Little Eagles of Siberia is comprised of young singers and musicians ranging in age from 11 to 19.

The choir regularly features Siberian works, representative works from other former Russian Republics, and great international classics.  Their newest program designed by Ludmilla Stebnjkova, founder (1971) and director of the choir, also includes instrumental works for balalaika and accordion (the traditional Russian bayan), as well as polished choral arrangements ranging from Glinka to Gershwin. The Little Eagles participated in the Children of the World in Harmony Festival in Beijing in 1999. "This is more than a concert tour...perhaps the most important part of such a tour is the cultural exchange and goodwill that can be created by youngsters and the audiences for whom they perform."

TOOKULA CHILDREN’S CHOIR - One of the most active groups in the congregation of Christuskirche in Minden, Germany (not too far from Hanover) is the Tookula Children's Choir.  It was founded in August, 1990 by Thomas Wirtz. With about 200 active choir members, the choir is divided into several groups comprising the Choir School of Christuskirche. Tookla goes on tour every year, and has performed in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Norway, France, Estonia, the US and several German cities. The repertoire ranges from classical songs to new sacred songs, spirituals and pop-songs. It is very important to the conductor, Thomas Wirtz, that the children combine a natural education of their voices with artistic experiences and a personal message.

This group is traveling to Michigan as a part of the Blue Lakes International Exchange program. 

VINSCHOOL - Over the years, young singers and dancers from Hanoi have participated in Children of the World in Harmony

festivals in Hanoi, Beijing, Hong Kong, and in Michigan. In June, 2015, several singers and dancers spent two weeks in Northern Michigan with the Little Traverse Youth Choir (LTYC) in a special exchange program titled “Getting to Know You.” 2017 marks the fourth visit to Michigan by our Vietnamese friends – the Vinschool One that is a choir of Vinschool Education System. This June, Vinschool One joined the 5th Vietnam International Choir Competition, Hoi An – Vietnam held by Interkultur.  As an enthusiastic participant, Vinschool One Choir comprising 60 students in the 8 to 16 age group from the Vinschool Education System won two gold medals. They confronted many strong participants from Russia, Philippines, Indonesia and China to win in the categories of Children’s Choirs and Folklore.The Choir confidently performed the chorus “Popular folk songs from three regions of Vietnam,” in the Folklore category. In Children’s Choirs — one of Interkultur’s most difficult categories — they delivered a series of sacred songs in Capella groups. This is the second time that Vinschool One Choir has participated in the Interkultur International Choir Competition. In 2015, it was honoured with a gold medal for its performance in the Folklore category.

Vinschool is a high-quality K-12 non-profit school system in Vietnam. Equipped with the most preeminent educational resources and facilities currently available, Vinschool aspires to become a world-class Vietnamese educational brand. Vinschool’s goal is to provide holistic education that focuses on developing a 5 in 1 program in the areas of Science subjects, English, Physical Education, Arts and Life Skills.  Striving to develop a safe, positive and happy environment for the students, Vinschool’s vision and mission is to provide high quality education at a modest fee to Vietnamese students.

http://www.vwbchoir.com/_/rsrc/1468888008981/services/festival-choir-application-form/2012%20festival%20choir%20.jpg?height=207&width=320VWB INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CHOIR - This Choir, directed by Dr. Julian Ackerley, is comprised of members from each of the participating choirs and others whose choir may not be able to attend but who wish to apply specifically to sing in the VWB Festival choir.   Applicants for the Festival Choir include singers from Germany, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, and the United States. 


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH DANCERS - Young Dancers from the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and other tribes will present traditional dances representative of their culture.  The dance, music, and art of the Native American Tribes in this area of Michigan play an important part in their lives and they are pleased to share their culture as a part of the Festival.       


C:\Users\Owner\Documents\2017 FESTIVAL\2017 FESTIVAL PARTICIPANTS\HIGHLAND DANCERS\Highland Dance Harbor 3 younger.jpg

HIGHLAND DANCE HARBOR – Several young dancers from Highland Dance North will present traditional Scottish Highland and National Dances in authentic costumes.  They proudly honor their own cultural roots and share them with the public.


The Little Traverse
Youth Choirs serve as the Festival hosts a
nd will participate in all Festival events including the VWB International Festival Choir.  The Little Traverse Touring choir was formed in 2010, one year after the first festival in Michigan, to host and participate in subsequent festivals.  The Little Traverse Treble Choir was formed two years later.  In addition to singing in the festival, many of choir members’ families will host visiting choir members,
directors, and chaperones.  Staying with host families provides the hosts and guest a unique opportunity to learn more about each other’s cultures.  Learn more at www.littletraverseyouthchoir.org.