Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ohio House set to honor Team Lachey


Choir members invited to dine with Gov. Strickland

COLUMBUS - Team Lachey, the 20-member amateur choir that won television's "Clash of the Choirs" on Dec. 20, is expected to be honored today on the floor of the Ohio House.

State Rep. Dale Mallory, a West End Democrat, will present about half the amateur ensemble's members a resolution. Also nicknamed "Team Cincinnati," the choir won $250,000 for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center during a live four-night NBC television contest.

Chuck Merk, a Lakota West High School math teacher who sings with the choir, said about 10 choir members also have been invited to a private reception with Gov. Ted Strickland.

College Hill native Nick Lachey, the choir's director, is unable to attend today's ceremonies.

"We appreciate good deeds," said Cynthia Ellis, Mallory's legislative aide. "They've done so much for Cincinnati. I'm tickled pink."

Team Lachey has performed locally several times since its nationally-televised victory, including at the Reds' season opener March 30. The choir sang "Amazing Grace" to mark the passing of Joe Nuxhall and fellow Reds Bob Purkey, Bob Howsam and Chief Bender this past offseason.

During the December finale in New York, the ensemble sang "Sing A Song" by Earth, Wind & Fire, and the 1967 Louis Armstrong classic, "What A Wonderful World." Choirs from Philadelphia, Houston, Oklahoma City and New Haven, Conn., also competed.

Staff writer John Kiesewetter contributed.