Our family was able to share in an amazing experience this week. Nearly 350 students from eight nations gathered at Bay View in Petoskey, MI to celebrate the Children of the World in Harmony Festival. My daughters' summer choir, the Bay View Choristers, were invited to participate in the event and it proved to be an unforgettable experience for our families. When we arrived at the first rehearsal, we were met by a wonderful blend of excited voices in a variety of languages and universal smiles. The Hong Kong group giggled as they exitted a van and the Mexican kids chatted excitedly as they entered the church. My six year old looked up at me and smiled as she picked up a few words she had learned in her Spanish class last year. We were treated to choirs that had traveled from Mongolia, China, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic and Vietnam and the eight hours of rehearsals on Thursday through Saturday were an amazing experience. The choirs all joined together for the last last three pieces of the grand finale concert Saturday evening. My girls loved learning Siyahamba, a South African fold song arranged by Donald C. Moore (ASCAP), the beautiful Da Hai A Gu Xiang (Oh Great Sea My Homeland), a Chinese piece by Wang Li Ping and Yang Hong Nian, and Let There Be Peace on Earth by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, arranged by John Brimhall. The only disappointment was that the Kenyan choir was turned away at the airport in Nairobi, so were unable to participate. I can only imagine the tears they shared. We missed them dearly and the festival was dedicated in their honor. Music is a universal language and seeing so many children enjoying the company of each other gives hope that there may someday truly be peace on Earth.