The Road to the World Choir Games

Jul 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Choir Events, Personal Reports, Top Post, World Choir Games

Soung Effects, Directed by Lynn Hartmuth, (photo by Liz Sabo Johnson)

Soung Effects, Directed by Lynn Hartmuth, (photo by Liz Sabo Johnson)


My name is Liz Sabo Johnson and I am a new Sweet Adeline as of February 2012. Although I am from Cincinnati, OH, I have traveled a long journey to become a member of my choir. Have you ever had a life experience that woke you up? That made you realize that you were missing something from your life? I was missing music, more specifically singing. I started my life singing from age 2 to 26. At family events, home, in school, high school and college, even after college I performed several years in theatre professionally. But somehow I took a turn down another path and began to raise a family and start my own business. I have experienced many changes over the years. Sometimes you encounter road blocks and sharp turns that remind you that you need to pay attention in life. In 2011, I was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease and had a cranial bypass to increase the blood flow to the top of my brain. Three months later I fell and broke my ankle. I believe someone or something was trying to tell me to slow down and rethink what I was doing.

Since that time I have been extra grateful for the ability to be active in my life. With the support of my husband Paul, family and friends I was encouraged to sing with Cincinnati Sound Chorus. It has been a wonderful experience, first attending the Winter Warm Up in Indianapolis, Region 4 Contest where we won a third place medal and now singing in our home town at the World Choir Games. Cincinnati Sound Chorus is a member of Sweet Adelines International, entertaining, educating and inspiring women through a cappella four part harmony in the Barbershop style.

Attending World Choir Games as a Volunteer

During July 4th and 5th I was fortunate to be a part of 4,600 volunteers from Greater Cincinnati as a Choir Support person at the Masonic Temple. The volunteer leadership at the venue was a pleasure to work with. Everyone on our shift wanted to make sure the choruses were comfortable and well supported. Water was passed out to everyone as temperatures reached 100 degrees. It was a privilege to work with the Masonic Temple staff and many volunteers who acted in such a professional manner. Not being able to dress and put make up on at the venue made it hard for choruses with elaborate costumes to prepare. I often wondered how the chorus members were able to climb four flights of stairs to the warm up rooms and then back down to the theatre in high heels. My legs ached just thinking
about it. Each chorus was given 10 minutes to complete a walk through on stage, barely enough time to run through their music package. No one complained and in fact they were very grateful for the time they had to test out the room for lights and sound. Seeing strangers from different countries and volunteers from Cincinnati working together in harmony made me realize what magic music brings to people.

Cincinnati Sound Chorus Preparing for the World Choir Games

In preparation for the World Choir Games, Cincinnati Sound Chorus members rehearsed weekly with our Master Director, Lynn Hartmuth who brought in Troy Kaper, Director of Gem City Chorus to work with us as our visual coach. Troy and his wife Tammy, both visual coaches, were dynamic and instrumental in helping the chorus convey the meanings of each song to their audience. A phrase often heard at each rehearsal is to “tell the story”, not only with the words but with your body language. It is important to move the music vocally as a song progresses, but physically and emotionally your body language should be enhancing the words in the song.

Troy often pushed us at rehearsal working to be world class performers. He wouldn’t take any slack from us making sure we were prepared for our performance at Music Hall!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment