On Friday morning the Goshen College Women’s World Choir will leave for Cincinnati, Ohio at 9:00 a.m.  The group will sing at the 2012 Cincinnati Mennonite Arts Festival as featured performers on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church.

Performance selections include pieces from countries around the world, including Swaziland, Georgia Republic, Tanzania and Bulgaria.  Some songs will include folk instruments and body percussion.

Amid traveling and performing, the women in the group will also have free time to explore the festival.  Hymn singing, art galleries and presentations are all included in the festivities of the weekend.

Ida Short, a first year, is looking forward to the festival.  “I’m looking forward to experiencing a different side of Mennonite culture,” she said.

The theme of the festival is “Dreams and Visions: Art and Prophetic Imagination.”  Various workshops and presentations will focus on this theme.  Featured presenters include Ingrid Hess, an author and illustrator; Julia Kasdorf, a poet and writer; and Deb Brubaker, music professor at Goshen College and choral director for the Women’s World Choir.  Brad Yoder, a musician, and Katrina Toews, a dancer, will lead workshops.

Emily Grimes, a sophomore, is the women’s choir assistant and has been organizing details for the weekend, including host family assignments, eating preferences and allergy accommodations.  Even though a lot of work goes into coordinating details, Grimes is excited to be a part of the trip.

“I will enjoy spending time with women in choir outside of rehearsal,” said Grimes.  She is also looking forward to being hosted by families in Cincinnati.

Other performers share similar sentiments.

“All the people are really cool and our music is cool,” said Becky Snider, a first year.  “I’m excited about singing cool music with cool people.”