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Host families needed for Idaho International Choral Festival in Pocatello


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POCATELLO (KPVI) — The Gate City is getting ready to welcome the world to eastern Idaho.

Singers from all over the globe will be descending here for the Idaho International Choral Festival in July and the organization needs host families to help welcome these people.

The Idaho International Choral Festival started back in 1999 and it takes place every three years at the Stephens Performing Arts Center. Organizers of the event say they need about 150 families total to host singers during their stay in Pocatello.

“It’s a great opportunity to broaden your cultural exposure and it’s a great opportunity to share your home … with these people,” festival co-chairman Paul Link said.

Organizers of the Choral Festival say around 400 singers will be coming to Pocatello from all over the world and for some it may be their first experience in the United States. This year the choirs are coming from: Ghana, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Paraguay, China, the Philippines and Spain.

Festival Housing Coordinator McKenzi Warnock has hosted the singers before. She says it’s an experience you’ll never forget as you provide a safe and loving home for these international singers that will be staying for about five days.

“I enjoy bringing the culture into my home,” Warnock said. “My children have older brothers for a week or older sisters for a week and we get to learn about their country, some of their traditions and it’s just fun to get to know other people and then listening to their singing helps solidify some of those cultural gems that they can bring here to Pocatello.”

Organizers say they still need about 50 to 80 more host families.

“It’s more of a real experience, I mean if they’re coming over from Ghana and we’re going to put them in the motel, where’s the cultural interchange? Whereas you’re going to have three kids from Ghana staying in your house, now that’s something that you’re not going to forget,” Link says.

Host families can attend all concerts for free, but are required to host at least two singers, provide occasional meals and take them to and from ISU, morning and night.

If you are interested in becoming a host family you can contact McKenzi Warnock at (801) 879-1401 or Janie Gebhardt at (208) 380-2206. Their emails are and

The Idaho International Choral Festival starts July 10th and goes through the 14th. For more information visit the website.

This article was originally published by KPVI. It is used here with permission.