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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir awarded gold certificate WCPO
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute Choir Terry Helmer/9 News
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Warren County Correctional Institute choir wins gold from World Choir Games

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Prison choir practices for choir games

LEBANON, Ohio - Some non-traditional World Choir Games singers walked away with quite a high honor Thursday.

The UMOJA Men's Chorus from the Warren County Correctional Institution took part in the competition and were awarded gold certificates Thursday. UMOJA is a Swahili term meaning unity.

The men had entered into the Gospel and Spiritual category.

The inmates were not allowed to leave the prison and instead judges came to them to hear them sing.

They were read their scores by a judge in Warren County Thursday. First for Gospel.

"There will be 25.45 points, a golden diploma level six is going to you," the judge said.

Then for the Spiritual category.

"And for category 18 Spiritual, with 23.88 points, a golden diploma level four," the judge continued.

A gold-caliber chorus, and for many this was one of the greatest moments of their lives.

"Absolute top this is my single most greatest accomplishment that I've ever had," Tyrone Lee Smiley, a member of the chorus said.

"I put this right up there next to the day I gave my life to Jesus," Mark Springer, another member of the chorus added.

For their director, Dr. Catherine Roma, the day was equally special.

"It's an amazing feat for these guys it's an amazing thing that the world choir games has a presence here and to let the world know there is truly that of God in everybody," Roma said. "It's just gratifying to know that our hard work was paid off our efforts weren't in vain an obviously we did a great job I don't feel they showed us any favoritism I just feel we did a great job and we represented ourselves well."

The choir also recently released their third CD with their music, of which they were able to give $2,000 away to local charities from the proceeds.

The choir says to stay tuned to http://www.musechoir.org/ for a chance to purchase their CD.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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