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The Scoop

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Defending the Gold – daily blog

Fort Wayne's Voices of Unity choir is in Cincinnati for the World Choir Games. Here is its report:

After the great momentum of the competition yesterday, we all anticipated possibly the second most anticipated part of the WCG experience ... the awards ceremony! We woke up early that morning and made our way to DECC to eat breakfast. Soon after, we quickly stopped by the Westin, and then took a bus to the US Bank Arena where the ceremony would be held. The most difficult part of all, was simply the walk from the bus stop to the actual arena (and the heat and lack of shade wasn’t helping) But in spite of that, we finally made it to the arena and we took our place down in the center floor section of the arena. More than two categories had been called before the one that VOU was all anticipating, Champion Category Popular Choral Music. Names were announced and medals were awarded, and finally the gold medalists were being announced. We grabbed hands, held our breath and even cried as our name was yet to be called in the gold category ... and finally, with 8 points between VOU and the Grand Champions, our name was called, and we got that gold! At the conclusion of the ceremony, we all walked back to DECC with pride, knowing we achieved what we set out to do.

After a brief lunch and social time with friends, we headed back to the hotel for a meeting with the choir. Greeted with a warm welcome from Mr. White, we knew that he, along with everyone else, was proud of us.

During this time together, we received feedback, encouragement, words of wisdom and empowerment from our peers and supporters. Despite our great achievement, some individuals still felt disappointed after not receiving the Grand Champion title, but we used this time together to encourage one another. "It was amazing to see us all united as one, holding hands and tears down our faces." said Windy Cobb. "Take this hunger, and let it fuel you to do better." said Angie Yoder. We were encouraged to keep our heads up high and improve upon our mistakes.

“You can’t improve upon something unless you know where you are lacking." explained Paula Bridges. But something really important that was said had nothing to do with competing, or even singing. It was about growth. "We appreciate being able to witness the leaders in this group step up, it’s beautiful." said Chris Richardson. We also were able to give advice to our peers on ways that we can personally improve

the environment, and keep it positive. After this period of

empowerment, we ate a quick snack and were dismissed to our rooms to relax. Later on, we had the opportunity to celebrate after working hard and we went to DECC for a party in the student lounge. After HOURS of games, dancing, music, and socializing, we said our good-byes and made our way back to the Westin to eat and call it a night. The amount of fun and excitement we had today brought a whole new meaning to the saying "work hard, play hard", and we truly set off the first week of the WCG 2012 with a bang!

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