Click on the file at the bottom to access the Year End Report pdf for years 2018-20.


"Voices Without Borders - Celebrating the bridge-building joy of music"




October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019


"Voices Without Borders - Celebrating the bridge-building joy of music"




October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019

Voices Without Borders’ Little Traverse Youth Choir (Kevin Wells, Director/Amy Rhudy, Accompanist) and Little Traverse Treble Choir (Maria Pierpont, Director/Ella Ruthig, Accompanist) held a number of performances throughout the 2018-19 seasons. The Youth Choir performed as guests of the Northern Michigan Chorale for “The Gift of Song” concerts at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts.

Representatives from both choirs performed at the Cross Village Tree Lighting and Castle Farms’ Train Wonderland. The Treble Choir performed after the Santa Parade at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. The Youth Choir performed at the Straits Area Community Christmas Cantata in Mackinaw City and before Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra & Chorus presentation of “Messiah Plus One” at St. Francis Xavier Church in Petoskey, as well as caroling in downtown Petoskey. LTYC 

also held their annual greenery fundraiser and a bake sale at Cheboygan Family Fare.

On February 9th, VWB presented the inaugural “A Time to Shine”, which featured 24 performances by nearly 100 total performers from throughout northern MI to an audience of nearly 300. The three youngest performers, ages 10 and 11, performed solos for the VIP Reception guests. The VIP was a popular option and sold out early. We were grateful for support from 40 area businesses including Vine Ride, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island Carriage Rides, Sheplers Ferry, Northwoods Chiropractic, Jay E. Balasz, D.D.S., and Sam & Lynn Oliver and the businesses below for our live and silent auctions, as well as Judy Zorn, Tim Nixon and Scott MacKenzie and Susan Melton who all helped to make this a success. “A Time to Shine” sparkled with fun for all ages while raising $6,300 for VWB programs.

On April 13th, Voices Without Borders presented an Audition Workshop for Singers at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in. Petoskey. Presenters, Amy Cross, Andrè Strydom and Ann Chatterson shared outstanding techniques for making an audition an enjoyable experience. The workshop was held to prepare singers for an audition for a masterclass with Franc D’Ambrosio and Michael Tilley. The audition process itself was an outstanding experience thanks to Amy Cross, Andrè Strydom and Dibby Smith, as was the masterclass that followed. 

Franc D’Ambrosio, performed Broadway’s lead role in Phantom of the Opera over 2,100 times and held the title as the longest running “Phantom” for over a decade. He also played Al Pacino’s opera-singing son in Godfather III, performing “Speak Softly Love” which led him to study with the late Luciano Pavarotti. He tours internationally. Michael Tilley is Chair of the Vocal Music and Accompanying division at the University of Illinois’s Lyric Theatre. The two worked with six singers, ages 13-18 in front of an audience that included members of the Youth and Treble Choirs, as well as community members. 

On May 10th, VWB  presented Franc D’Ambrosio’s “Hollywood” at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. The Youth Choir joined Franc D’Ambrosio on stage for “Bring Him Home” and also performed “The Irish Blessing” at Franc’s request.

The Treble Choir enjoyed performing with the Northern Michigan Chorale during their May 5th concert at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. Voices Without Borders is grateful for the Northern Michigan Chorale’s support of the Youth and Treble Choirs and also for their scholarship program which has allowed many VWB singers to take voice lessons.

The Youth Choir was thrilled to perform with the Little Traverse Choral Society during their 30th anniversary concerts on May 18th and 19th at First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs and the Great Lakes Center for the Arts.  May 19th was especially busy as VWB also hosted Treble With Chocolate, a fundraiser featuring two favorites, chocolate and the Little Traverse Treble Choir at the Grand Unity Center in Petoskey. We were grateful for the support of the businesses listed in the graphic to the right, as well as our parent bakers and volunteers. This event, along with grant support from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and the Petoskey Noon Rotary covered the cost of the Treble Choir costumes. 

Voices Without Borders presented the 23rd Children of the World in Harmony International Choir & Dance Festival from July 15-21, 2019; a colorful, joyful celebration of music, friendship and culture. Yip’s Junior Choir from Hong Kong delighted audiences with their colorful costumes and delightful traditional songs and dance. We were thrilled to welcome Gluais, a 40-member female group of musicians, singers and dancers from Trim, in County Meath, Ireland; a city that welcomed the Little Traverse Youth Choir during its 2018 tour of Ireland and Scotland. Gluais was joined by city officials who finalized the twinning of the two Boyne River Valleys at a special ceremony held prior to the festival concert at the Boyne City Performing Arts Center. National champion Mariachi Espuelas de Plata (Silver Spurs) quickly won the hearts of both audiences and festival participants with their lively musical performances and invitations to dance. The Crystal Children’s Choir, founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994, consisting primarily of Chinese American singers, performed beautifully. Two dancers from the Wattana Girls Chorus from Bangkok, Thailand performed beautiful traditional dances. The Little Traverse Youth Choir served as gracious hosts while also performing throughout the week. The Little Traverse Youth Choir and Gluais enjoyed collaborating on an Irish folk song, “The Rattlin’ Bog”. LTYC also performed the world debut of “A House Made of Music”, (Words, Julia Klatt Singer-Music, Timothy Takach), commissioned in honor of Kevin Wells’ father, the late Dale Wells. Little Traverse Treble Choir and newly formed Dancers Without Borders also participate in some of the concerts. All of the performers had a fantastic time making music together, both onstage and off. Visit to go behind the scenes at the Festival Gala at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. Photos are available at under PHOTO ALBUMS. The Festival Gala Download is also available at


Dr. William Skoog, Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of Choral Studies at Rhodes College directed the VWB International Festival Choir and the Massed Choir at the 2019 Festival. Dr. Skoog was the director of the Dublin Choral Festival Choir in Ireland the previous summer in which the Little Traverse Youth Choir performed. He has conducted International Choral Festivals in Lucerne, Rome, France, and the Czech Republic, and now Michigan. He was as thrilled to be a part of the Festival as the singers were to learn from him.

Twenty-six host families and countless volunteer hours helped make the 2019 Children of the World in Harmony Festival a tremendous success. Boyne Resorts provided a surprise during the festival when they hosted many of our participants and their families for a chair-lift ride up the mountain. We are so grateful to all of our host families, volunteers, our Adopt a Star sponsors and the sponsors listed below who helped make this week possible!



Friday, July 12, 2019   MUSIC IN MACKINAW Pre-Festival event

8:00pm - Music in Mackinaw at Conkling Heritage Park, 335 S. Huron St., Mackinaw City –  LTYC Youth Choir and Dancers Without Borders. FREE


Tuesday, July 16, 2019 PENNSYLVANIA PARK – Concerts

12 Noon – 2:35pm -PENNSYLVANIA PARK 411 E. Lake St. in downtown Petoskey.  FREE

7:00pm - HOLY CHILDHOOD CHURCH,150 W. Main St. Harbor Springs - Concert – 

   Yip’s Children’s Choir (Hong Kong) Harbor Springs. Free will offering.

7:00pm - GENESIS CHURCH  1124 Northmen Dr., Petoskey - Concert - Mariachi 

   Espuelas de Plata (Texas) & Gluais (Ireland). Free will offering.


Wed., July 17, 2019  CHEBOYGAN OPERA HOUSE – Concert - Ticketed

403 N Huron Street, Cheboygan, Michigan

7:00pm – All festival participants perform in this concert.

                 Adult Tickets $15. Students 18 years and younger $10 

Box Office at 231-627-5841


1035 Boyne Ave, Boyne City

6:45pm - Official Twinning Ceremony Boyne River Valley Ireland and Boyne City

7:15pm – All festival participants perform in this Concert 

  - Free will offering

 Friday, July 19, 2019 - GALA CONCERT - GREAT LAKES CENTER FOR THE ARTS - Ticketed

  800 Bay Harbor Drive, Bay Harbor, MI 49770

7:00pm – GALA CONCERT - All Participants perform in in the Gala Concerts including 

the VWB International Festival Choir and the Massed Choir.

Adult Tickets $50, $30, $25, $20, and $15. Students 18 years & younger $10 - Under five free.

Box Office at 231.439.2610 or




104 State St. Charlevoix, MI

  10:00am - Concert as a part of regular church service – Yip’s Junior Choir, Hong Kong.

On August 13th, Voices Without Borders was honored by the City of Boyne City for their many performances, both Boyne City and the surrounding area and for initially representing the Boyne City region in Ireland. 

Your continuing efforts to bring international understanding and people together has made a lasting and positive difference to Boyne Valleys, both here in the United States and in Ireland.

The remainder of the summer was devoted to planning the 2019-2020 concert season, beginning plans for the 2020 trip to Carnegie Hall, updating the Cultural Data Project, completing grant requests and several committee meetings.




Subject to Change


September 12, 2019 - Rehearsals begin!

October 29, 2019 - Joint concert with both choirs and Dancers Without Borders at First Presbyterian Church, Harbor Springs

November 23 & 24 - Sing JOY! ~ Youth Choir with the Northern Michigan Chorale at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts

November 29, 2019 - Cross Village Tree Lighting Ceremony at Three Pines Studio

December 17, 2019 - Joint concert with both choirs and Dancers Without Borders at Petoskey United Methodist Church (Tentative)

December 19, 2019 - Youth Choir performance prior to the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra & Chorus's presentation of Handel's Messiah, St. Francis Xavier Church, Petoskey

February 8, 2020 - Voices Without Borders presents "A Time to Shine" at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay Harbor

May, 2020 - Joint Spring Concert (TBA)

June 11-17, 2020 - Great Lakes Youth Choir will travel to New York to perform in Carnegie Hall!

Quotes That Made Us Smile

This is an amazing group of people. My daughter has joined this choir and has had so much fun doing something she loves. They work hard and are worth seeing at every chance. I am grateful to them for the time and effort they give to these kids. ~ Bainette Lukehart

Met this fantastic group on their visit to Trim . Really worth going to see. ~ Caroline Lynch

They have great voices and their conductor is one of the best. ~ Louann Compton

Thank you so much for giving Gluais the opportunity to participate in the festival. We will forever remember our experience in Michigan. We are also grateful for the opportunity you have given us to experience/watch people of other cultures perform. Performing with and meeting people from all over the world was unforgettable. 

~ Allie

I so greatly respect the mission of VWB and the work the organization is doing for its kids. I was in choral groups growing up and met some of my closest friends to date while singing.  I think programs like this allow kids of all different backgrounds and financial statuses to come together to create something totally beautiful while really forming a sense of community and family. The arts have always been important to my family, and it means a lot to be able to support organizations like this. ~ Amanda (Dekker) Kau

May 31, 2021, 10:11 AM