International performers build bridges with music in Petoskey

Jul 20, 2017

More than 150 young people are gathered in northern Michigan this week. They sing, dance and some play instruments.

They come from all over the world – Russia, Vietnam, Germany and northern Michigan. They all join together for what’s called the Children of the World in Harmony International Choir and Dance Festival. 

Helge Hoffmeister is part of a choir from Germany and has been singing with the group for about seven years.

“Music is something that will connect you even though you can’t speak the same language,” he says. “So, you can always just come together with anybody, and if you know a song you can sing it. You can’t even imagine how that feels in that moment, just heartwarming.”

Throughout the festival, people living in the Petoskey area open up their homes to host choir members during their stay.

Larissa is the assistant director and translator for the choir from Siberia. She says staying with host-families is the highlight of the trip for many kids.

“Leaving each city the kids cry and the families cry,” she explains. “That is how we learn about different life and we get friends with other people. And it’s the most important thing about the tour.” 

Tonight, all the choirs will sing together at a gala, in Harbor Springs. They also have events Saturday and Monday. For more information, click here.