With 10 choirs from all over the world, the International Choral Festival got off to a rousing start at Out To Lunch at Caras Park, with thousands on hand to enjoy the mild summer weather and exceptional music.

At 2:30 p.m. Southgate Mall became the venue, with choirs from Ontario Canada, Hong Kong, Poland, Costa Rica and Washington State. Deb Stapley Graham, board member with the ICF said the Caras Park concert gave her goosebumps.

"Each of the choirs performed at the Park today," Stapely-Graham said. "There were choirs from Estonia, Georgia, not Atlanta, but in eastern Europe, and there was a choir from Cuba. It was so heartening to see people who have not been able to travel outside of their own country ever, come to Missoula, Montana."

Barbara Sleddo, Artistic Director of the Heartland Youth Choir from Des Moines, Iowa said her choir is made up of children who live within a 90-mile radius of Des Moines.

"Altogether in our organization, we have 160 singers, but here at this festival we have 21 with ages between 10 and 13," Sleddo said. "We think Missoula is beautiful," she continued. "It's so inspiring just to wake up and see the mountains and the climate, and..no mosquitoes."

All the choirs will be joining together for the evening concert at Bonner Park. Admission is free.

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