Raising a joyful noise with the African Children’s Choir

 

“It gives you a different perspective on life, and fills you up with joy as well, seeing the children dance their little hearts out. It’s a very exciting show, it’s just a fun time.”

This is what Choir 44 tour director for the African Children’s Choir, Heidi Mullen, has to say when asked why people should come see the choir perform. On all accounts, she was correct.

Choir 44 of The African Children's Choir, which performed in Charleston on Friday, will be touring all over the American southeast and United Kingdom from September 2015 until July of 2016.

Choir 44 of The African Children’s Choir, which performed in Charleston on Friday, will be touring all over the American southeast and United Kingdom from September 2015 until July of 2016.

The choir, which has performed for numerous celebrities and dignitaries in the United States and UK, came to Grace United Methodist Church in Charleston on Friday to raise a joyful noise.

The event started after a brief introduction from the choir director. As the show began, an excited hush fell over the room. Suddenly, the doors to the sanctuary burst open  and in ran the singers of Choir 44, raising shouts and cheers all the way down the aisle. Dressed in vibrant, traditional African garb, the children sang songs many could identify in their native tongue, such as “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” In addition to singing traditionally Christian songs, the singers also shared songs native to their culture, ranging from subjects such as fishing to dancing to native pride.

After the first few songs, the children took a break from singing to share with the audience their dreams. Each child of Choir 44 stepped to the front and told the audience their name and their dream. Their dreams were diverse; some hoped to be doctors or lawyers, while others expressed their wishes to be social workers or accountants. Each new choir member stole the audiences’ heart a little more with every new hope. After introducing themselves, the children ran out of the sanctuary to prepare for the rest of the show.

The children of the African Children's Choir are unique - many of them have no parents and are poverty stricken. However, the African Children's Choir allows them to have opportunities they would never have had through a free education in a safe environment.

The children of the African Children’s Choir are unique – many of them have no parents and are poverty stricken. However, the African Children’s Choir allows them to have opportunities they would never have had through a free education in a safe environment.

At that time, the choir director stepped out to share with the audience the success stories of past choir members. A video was played for the audience showing multiple clips of the previous singers sharing their current occupation and explaining how the African Children’s Choir changed their lives. After the video, the director explained how The African Children’s Choir takes children out of horrid conditions in Africa and gives them a life they never could have had previously, usually because either one or both of their parents are deceased.

The choir then rushed in in jubilation to commence the second part of the show; they came in donned in brilliant colors, having changed costumes for their second set. For this portion of the show, the children performed traditional drum songs and dances, fascinating the audience with the beauty of their cultural traditions. Several young children in the audience danced with the choir members, inspired by their joyful manner. Once sufficiently tired, the children rushed out again to prepare for the final leg of the show.

The director came to the stage a second time to share another video, which showed the audience how a social worker in Uganda changed a girl’s life by bringing her to the choir. The social worker explained that in Uganda, as in many African countries, the cost of education is much too high to afford, so many children have no future, thus contributing to the growing poverty issue throughout the continent. However, programs like The African Children’s Choir give opportunities that change the lives of girls and boys like Peace from Uganda, by educating them for free in a safe environment. After the video, donations were taken from the audience, which go directly back into the program to help children to have a future.

“The fact that they are children that have been chosen that come from some difficult circumstances where they don’t have parents anymore and they join this group,” said church member Christina Nelson, “and they are able to become educated and they are loved and taken care of is very important.”

The children of Choir 44 finish their performance with a native song of hope and pride for Africa.

The children of Choir 44 finish their performance with a native song of hope and pride for Africa.

Finally, the children rushed out a third time, dressed in another different costume done in red, white, yellow and black. The choir  performed one final number, an anthem of pride and hope for Africa. The room was silent as they sang with beautiful harmonies and pictures of the African savannah displayed on the screens behind them. To conclude, the children thanked the audience in three dialects of African languages and ran down the aisle.

When asked why Choir 44 is so special, tour director Mullen said: “The joy that they express and the hope that they have, coming from so little, that’s what makes them so unique.”

 

2499 Total Views 3 Views Today


Scott Harvin is a sophomore Communication major with a minor in International Studies in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, he is thrilled to be able to call the wonderful city of Charleston his new home, where he cannot wait to watch the next three years of his life unfold. Other than his academic career at the College, Scott is also a Resident Assistant in McAlister Residence Hall, a tour guide for Charleston 40, a member of the Student Ambassador Program and a News Contributor for CisternYard News. All of this can only mean two things: first, he knows pretty much anything anyone could ever want to know about the College and second, he never sleeps. Despite this, he still finds time to explore his passions for music, photography and adventure, collecting vinyl records while traveling the southeast with close companions to root out the best experiences, restaurants and events the world has to offer. He does all of this while pursuing his ultimate dream: becoming a journalist for a major news branch, preferably in New York, where he hopes to live out the American Dream. “You may call him a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.”


'Raising a joyful noise with the African Children’s Choir' has no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Images are for demo purposes only and are properties of their respective owners. Old Paper by ThunderThemes.net

Follow by Email
Facebook
YouTube
YouTube
Instagram