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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Twenty-one groups from around the world will compete this weekend in Louisville, trying to advance to the world championships in Latvia.
One choir carries the flag of a nation rocked by tragedy -- the Philippines.
Music takes you on a journey into a singer's soul. "It's like an expression of myself, my feelings," says Ana Almenario. But on November 8th, she almost lost her song. Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Almenario's grandparents' home in the Philippines. "I couldn't even sing because I was thinking about, what if they never hear me sing again," she says.
She continues, "We didn't have any news about them for four days, and then my mom and my brother went home to go look for them."
The family survived, but Ana's life quickly changed. Choir Director Lorenzo Gealogo explains, "She almost didn't make it because of all the funding."
Ana gave the money she'd saved to travel to Louisville for the first Sing N Joy International Choral Festival and Competition to help rebuild her grandparents' home.
Ana sings with Coro San Benildo, the resident choral group of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde in Manila. Twenty other choirs from around the world will compete at the Galt House Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 during the event. The winners earn points to advance to the World Choir Games in Latvia this summer.
A last-minute sponsorship allowed Ana to make the trip and now her voice will give back to her nation.
Rita Reedy of Galt House Marketing & Communication says the Galt House teamed up with the city of Louisville.
"We have partnered with the city of Louisville because we are known as a compassionate city. The Red Cross, WDRB, and the Galt House," Reedy said. "We want to help the Philippines. The typhoon was the worst disaster in the history of the country....So Red Cross will be collecting at Light Up Louisville as well as here while they are performing."
"It's amazing," Almenario says. "I will be forever grateful for them for helping strangers from my country. It's awesome, I am speechless."
Donations go directly to typhoon victims. The death toll now stands at 5,200.
Coro San Benildo Performances
Thursday, November 28- Friendship Concert- 11:30 a.m. --1 p.m. Churchill Downs (Gate 17 and Turf Club)
Friday, November 29-Competition- 2:25 p.m. -- Cathedral of the Assumption
Friday, November 29-Friendship Concert- 5:10 p.m. -- Galt House Hotel Suite Tower Lobby
Friday, November 29- Friendship Concert- 5:30 p.m. -- KaLightoscope Christmas-(Red Cross will collect donations at the event for the typhoon relief effort)
Friday, November 29- Light Up Louisville Parade -- Fourth Street & Main Street (Red Cross will collect donations at the event for the typhoon relief effort)
Saturday, November 30-Celebration Concert- 8 p.m. -- KY Center for the Performing Arts- Whitney Hall (Galt House will donate $2 from each ticket to benefit the typhoon relief effort)
Sunday, December 1-Awards Ceremony & Closing Concert- 3 p.m. -- KY Center for the Performing Arts Whitney Hall (Galt House will donate $2 from each ticket to benefit the typhoon relief effort)