Scott Gault and Kristin Hedstrom aren't the only Bay Area natives gearing up for a performance in the London Olympics this summer. In fact, 55 children from Benicia are preparing themselves for their own time in the international spotlight.
Benicia's VOENA (Voices of Eve 'N' Angels) Children's Choir is set to perform at the passing of the torch in London next month.
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VOENA fit the bill for the Olympics Committee's desire for a multi-cultural, multi-lingual ensemble to perform at the Olympics event. The choir sings music from all over the world in native languages as a way to encourage peace among cultures.
“We’re very, very versatile,” founder Annabel Marie told CBS. “But our specialty is in a capella world music.”
Unfortunately, the whole group will not be able to attend the once-in-a-lifetime performance.
Despite fundraising efforts, the group was unable to raise enough money to send all 140 members to London. Last month, the choir held a fundraising concert at the Uptown Theatre in Napa and an online auction on July 1. In total, its fundraising efforts have yielded $35,000 in donations, according to KTVU, but it is still not enough.
"Of course we wish we could take everyone. But we're appreciative of what we have been able to get," Marie told Patch.
VOENA members are also Official US Ambassadors of Good Will and have toured internationally, including performances at the White House and the Vatican, and performances with Maya Angelou and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Watch the VOENA kids perform in the video below: