CINCINNATI - Drew Lachey will emcee two Champions Concerts for the 2012 World Choir Games, the games announced Tuesday.
Lachey is a Cincinnati native, member of Grammy-nominated 98 Degrees and winner of the second season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Lachey, who was emcee of the Countdown to the Games event on July 11, 2011, on Fountain Square, will play host to the Champions Concerts on July 8 (2-4 p.m.) at Aronoff Center for the Arts and July 14 (2-4 p.m.) at Music Hall.
"As soon as I heard about the World Choir Games, I knew it was a great opportunity for Cincinnati to show the rest of the country and the world what a great place this is," Lachey said. "We are fortunate to have such strong arts and culture in this community. We should be really proud of that. I'm excited to be part of an event that welcomes people from all over the globe to our city, where we can make them feel welcome."
Lachey, 35, is a graduate of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where he and his wife, Lea Dellecave, also an SCPA graduate, will hold a Musical Theater summer camp in August.
"I moved back to Cincinnati with my family in December of 2009 because this is such a great place to live, to raise children and to be involved in the arts community," Lachey said. "Being a part of the World Choir Games gives me the opportunity to talk about all that."
The Champions Concerts will feature the top-scoring gold-medal winners in the Champions Competition. Here's how it works:
There are 23 musical categories – 11 the first week of competition (July 5-7) and 12 the second week (July 11-13). The Champions Competition is for choirs that qualify based on previous experience and artistic ability. The Champions Competition is judged by a panel of seven international adjudicators who will score each choir. Based on that score, a choir may receive a gold, silver or bronze medal. The gold-medal winner with the highest score is named Champion of the World Choir Games in their category. These are announced at the Awards Ceremonies on July 7, 8, 13 and 14 and invited to take part in the Champions Concerts.
"The Champions Concerts feature some of the best choirs in the world," said Jelena Dannhauer, project manager for INTERKULTUR, the Germany-based owner and producer of the World Choir Games. "These are truly exhilarating and remarkable performances. The choirs are anxious to show the audience why they are the champions."
"We are thrilled to have Drew not just involved, but really engaged in the World Choir Games," said Nick Vehr, managing director of the Cincinnati Organizing Committee for the 2012 World Choir Games.
About 15,000 participants, including 355 choirs from 48 countries, are expected to participate in the World Choir Games, the Olympics of choral music that is held every two years. The seventh Games will take place from July 4–14, 2012.
Tickets to all World Choir Games events are available at www.2012worldchoirgames.com or by calling 513.977.6363.