Greg Morris’ [Dec. 5 column ] about the Indianapolis Children’s Choir relates many of its extraordinary accomplishments during the last 25 years, but its performances during the 7th FINA World Swimming Championships in Conseco Fieldhouse in 2004 need special attention.
For eight months before the championships, under Henry Leck’s guidance, ICC singers learned to sing more than 30 national anthems—from Algeria to Zimbabwe. For every swimming event over five days, the ICC sang the national anthems of victorious athletes, representing the only Olympic sporting event anywhere in the world where recorded music has not been used; instead, the beautiful voices of ICC singers were heard by capacity audiences and on a broadcast seen in 180 countries worldwide.
The kids were “rock stars,” getting “high fives” and ovations in the entryway of the fieldhouse when entering and leaving the building. The ICC became the singular, lasting image of the championships, one that is still remembered today with great admiration by swimmers, coaches and spectators.