African children’s choir set to melt the hearts of Borders audiences

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GALASHIELS is one of the venues of the African Children’s Choir on tour next month, writes Sally Gillespie.

Old Parish and St Paul’s Church in the town will host the singing youngsters on November 10.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances. Nearly every performance is concluded with a thunderous standing ovation! In spite of the tragedy that has marred their young lives, the children are radiant with hope, musically gifted, and always wonderfully entertaining.”

The programme will feature popular children’s songs, traditional spirituals and rhythmic gospel favourites.

Proceeds from performances allow the choir to raise global awareness of the plight of the millions of orphaned and abandoned children in Africa.

Donations support the education of the choristers and other African children.

The choir is run by Music for Life which has educated more than 52,000 children, most of whom have been orphaned or abandoned.

And it has helped more than 100,000 people through its relief and development programmes over its 27-year history.

The spokesperson continued: “Choir members have the additional benefit of international travel with the choir; this exposes them to a wide variety of people, places and perspectives. Their life experiences combined with a structured formal education give the children the necessary tools to change their lives and the lives of others.”

Music for Life’s aim is to create leaders. The African Children’s Choir has performed on some of the world’s greatest stages, including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Madison Square Garden, London Palladium, US Presidential White House and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. And the youngsters have sung with such stars as Sir Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Tony Bennett and Mariah Carey, and have performed for US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Queen, Nelson Mandela and other dignitaries.

Celebrities such as Bono, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Sir Bob Geldof support Music for Life Institute projects internationally, along with the ongoing mission of the African Children’s Choir.