Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu joined Bendigo Mayor Alec Sandner and Member for Western Victoria Wendy Lovell and guests at a civic reception today in Bendigo to celebrate the achievements of the Bendigo Youth Choir at the 2012 World Choir Games.
The 30-member choir, one of only six Australian choirs invited to participate, received three silver medals at the competition held in Cincinnati USA, the best result for an Australian group.
"The World Choir Games are the Olympics of the choir world, and to receive such high honours is a remarkable achievement and testament to the talent and dedication of the choristers, and the choir team," Mr Baillieu said.
Mr Baillieu announced that he had invited the choir to perform as part of the celebrations when Australia's 2012 Olympic team are welcomed home at a special event in Federation Square in Melbourne on Wednesday 22 August.
"It's more than fitting that medal winners from the Olympic games of the choir world welcome home our Olympic challengers," Mr Baillieu said.
The choir will also perform at the opening of the regional sitting of parliament in Bendigo on Thursday 6 September.
The choir took home medals in the Youth, Sacred and Folklore competitions. Its repertoire included songs sung in English, Russian, Serbian, Latin and a rendition of Waltzing Matilda which incorporated words sung in Indigenous languages.
The competition featured more than 360 choirs and more than 15,000 participants of all ages.
In addition to the competitions in Cincinnati, the tour included public performances at the iconic Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, at Disneyland and with a local choir in Bendigo's sister city Los Altos, California.
"The World Choir Games is a significant international event and is an opportunity to showcase the artistic energy, skills and diversity of Victoria's youth – they've done Bendigo and all of Victoria proud.
"To stand out on such an international stage is outstanding and the memories will last a lifetime," Mr Baillieu said.