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Results from the First Week of Competition in Graz

The World Choir Games has passed the half-way point announcing the winners in the first competition!

Many, many choirs from all over the globe gathered in Graz, Austria on July 9 to celebrate a common interest and a common language - Music! Instead of nations focusing on their differences and conflicts, we are singing together and celebrating what we have in common - the love of making beautiful music!

The week began with a parade through the streets of Graz singing, waving flags and leading people to the venue where the games would begin later that night. The next day (July 10) the competitions began in many venues around Graz. There are over 450 choirs coming to Graz over the 10 days of the games and over 70 jurors scoring these choirs. The job for jurors has been very difficult. Many nights the jury meets until the early hours of the next day working out the final decisions to share with the choral community gathered for this competition. Every choir that competes will receive an award of some kind! There are several awards in each category: Bronze, SIlver and Gold! However, there is on one Champion in each category!

Overall, there were many winners. Here's a list of the top countries winning gold Medals:
1. South Africa: 15 (out of 23 choirs competing)
2. Indonesia: 6 (out of 14 competing)
3. USA: 6 (out of 11 competing)

On Sunday night, a concert of champions was held in the Stadthalle in the center of Graz to celebrate the end of the first part of the WCG and to recognize the best choirs in each category.

Here's a list of the best choirs by category:

Champions of the World Choir Games, Part 1
Category 1: Childrens Choirs: Las Piňas Boys Choir Philippines
Category 2: Youth Choirs of Equal Voices: Stellenberg Girls Choir South Africa
Category 3: Young Male Choirs: Diocesan Boys' School Choir China/Hongkong SAR
Category 5: Mixed Youth Choirs: Okazaki High School Choir Japan
Category 16: Musica Sacra: Pro Cantu Youth Choir South Africa
Category 17: Musica Sacra – open category: Stellenbosch University Choir South Africa
Category 18: Music of the Religions – open category: Li-Ron Choir Israel
Category 21: Jazz Vocal Ensembles a cappella: Mansfield University Choir - Jazz Ensemble "Mansfieldians" USA
Category 22: Jazz – open category: Elfa's Singers Indonesia
Category 23: Gospel & Spiritual – Vocal Ensembles: The Revelations Sri Lanka
Category 24: Gospel & Spiritual – open category: Mansfield University Choir USA
Category 25: Popular Choral Music – Vocal Ensembles: Kilyawan Boys Choir Philippines
Category 26: Popular Choral Music – open category: Elfa's Singers Indonesia

Here are some memorable photos from the Champions Concert on July 13:

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