Winton Woods was awarded a Gold Medal at the
2012 World Choir Games in the Championship Division
and placed 5th in the World!
The Winton Woods High School choirs under current directors, David M. Bell and Elizabeth Hannah, are recognized not only among the finest high school choirs in the Midwest, but ranked in international competition among the top choirs in the World. During the summer of 2012, the Winton Woods Varsity Ensemble was awarded a Gold Medal and placed 5th in the World in the Championship Division of the Mixed Youth Ensembles category (ages 12-24) at the 2012 World Choir Games which included over 360 choirs from approximately 50 countries. The Choir Games also known as the “Olympics of Choral Music” is held every two years and the 2012 competition represented the largest choral music competitive event ever held on American soil. Winton Woods was one of only four high school choirs from the USA to be awarded a gold medal in the most selective Championship category of the 2012 Choir Games.
The Winton Woods High School choirs have been recognized on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, the Ohio Senate, the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Board of Education for excellence in the performing arts. In addition, Winton Woods High School is one of only three Cincinnati-area high school choral music programs that were identified as exemplary programs for inclusion in the recently released book, “A City that Sings: Cincinnati’s Choral Tradition 1800-2012," which was released during May of 2012. In addition, Winton Woods was one of four Ohio schools who were selected as semi-finalists for the 2011 "Grammy Signature Schools" competition and the winner of a $10,000 grant in the 2011 Glee "Give a Note" competition.
The Varsity Ensemble and Concert Choir have performed over thirty-five times with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops under the direction of John Morris Russell, Eric Kunzel, Steven Reinecke, Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Keith Lockhart. The Winton Woods Choirs have also recorded three CD's with the Cincinnati Pops. The first two were recorded for Telarc Records. “Mega-Movies,” premiered at number fourteen on the Billboard magazine classical-crossover charts and “Scary Music,” was released in 2001. The third CD, “Home for the Holidays” was recorded December 2011 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Fanfare label in conjunction with the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus and was John Morris Russell’s inaugural CD recorded with the Cincinnati Pops. They also appeared with the Cincinnati Pops in a national PBS broadcast “Fourth of July from the Heartland,” which was viewed by nearly 7 million viewers in 5.1 million households.
The Winton Woods High School Varsity Ensemble was also one of five choirs from the United States that were selected to perform in Beijing and Shanghai, China, in a “Salute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics” under composer/conductor Rollo Dilworth; including a sold-out performance in the Forbidden City Concert Hall.
Winton Woods performing at the Great Wall of China
Cincinnati audiences have seen the Winton Woods choirs as guest performers at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music “Feast of Carols,” at the inaugural “Sing Cincinnati!” Festival and at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s “Home for the Holidays.” They have also performed with Sandy Patti, Rosemary Clooney, Doc Severinsen, country artist, Reba McEntire, Danny Glover, Tom Wopat, Bob McGrath of “Sesame Street,” and the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati. The choirs have appeared regularly upon Cincinnati radio and television, including the Emmy-Award-Winning “Tall Stacks Farewell Ceremony” broadcast of 1995, the 1996 “Cincinnati Olympic Torch Farewell Ceremony” and “Cincinnati Sings Noel” also broadcast in 1996. During December of 1999, they appeared in three performances with the Cincinnati Children's Theater and Cincinnati Opera Outreach Ensemble in a performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”
Winton Woods appears with Sandi Patty and the Cincinnati Pops
The Winton Woods High School choirs are also recognized for their ongoing premier performances of new choral works, eight since 1992 (six of which were written specifically for the choir and three of which were commissioned by the choir). The high school choirs set a high standard of performance and have qualified for state-level competition by receiving “superior” ratings at the district level every year for the past thirty-six years. The combined forces of the Varsity Ensemble and the Concert Choir have been awarded the “grand champion” trophy for being the outstanding choir at three national competitions since 1990. The combined Winton Woods High School Varsity Ensemble and Concert Choir also performed at the 1995 North Central Division Convention of the Music Educators National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as the 1987 Ohio Music Education Association State Conference.
All curricular choirs are team-taught by Mr. Bell and Assistant Conductor, Elizabeth Hannah. David Bell received his Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching certification from Northern Illinois University and his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Mr. Bell was recognized as the Winton Woods City Schools 2008 Teacher of the Year at the Hamilton County Educational Foundation “Celebrate Excellence” ceremony and was awarded the 2012 “Virtuoso Award” by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education for the advancement of arts education in schools. In addition, Bell's classroom work has been cited and published by National Educational Consultant, Lee Jenkins, in “Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming's Quality Principles in Classrooms.” His use of technology in the music classroom for preparing the student for the 21st century has been featured by the Vision21 consortium for teaching and learning. Bell was a member of the founding committees of the May Festival Youth Chorus and the award-winning Muse Machine arts education organization in Dayton, Ohio. He is the former President of the Ohio Choral Directors Association and has presented workshops for the American Choral Directors Association, the Michigan Choral Directors Associations, Kentucky Music Educators Association and been a guest teacher at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and Miami University of Ohio. He was also the Founding Music Director of the Cincinnati arts event, “Sing Cincinnati!” which was recognized by the National Association for Music Education, the US Senate and “Cincinnati Magazine.”
Choral Assistant Conductor, Elizabeth Hannah, received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from William and Mary College and her Master’s degree in Music Education from Indiana University at Bloomington. She is quickly becoming known for her extraordinary arrangements of contemporary acappella music. Mrs. Hannah is in her third year of teaching since she moved to Cincinnati from her home in Bay Village, OH, where in addition to participating in the music program she was also a part of her high school state championship soccer team and a member of the basketball team. Mrs. Hannah was an Associate Instructor at Indiana University where she taught musicianship skills to undergraduate students and a Music Instructor and Accompanist for the Indiana University Children's Choir. Mrs. Hannah conducts the contemporary acappella choirs at Winton Woods H.S.as well as the Men's and Women's choirs. She also serves as an assistant to the conductor of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra Chorus and is a member of the Young Professions Choral Collaborative, who won a silver medal at the 2012 World Choir Games.
Multicultural music plays an important role in our eclectic selection of music. Priorities are accountability in developing individual talents and artistic skills as well as developing teamwork skills in order to work together to attain a common musical goal.
Combined Winton Woods High School Choirs
Click to see the 2012 World Choir Performance Song Lyrics
Click to see the 2012 World Choir Games Gold Medal Performance