African Children’s Choir in Central Alberta this week

  • Oct. 7, 2015 2:52 p.m.

MUSIC FOR LIFE - The African Children’s Choir from Uganda will be performing in Lacombe on Oct. 9th.

The African Children’s Choir will be making a stop in Lacombe this week as part of their North American tour.

The group consisting of 18 children, ages seven to 11 from Uganda, will entertain audiences with a lively and vibrant showon Oct. 9th.

The performance will feature African songs, dances and drumming along with traditional spiritual and gospel favourites.

North American Choir Operations Manager Sarah Lidstone said the group began their tour in March in the United States andhave been working their way from the east coast.

“We were in the Maritimes and now we are working our way west,” she said. “We will end our tour in Vancouver.”

The traveling show is offered as free of charge, with funds raised going towards children’s choir programs including education, healthcare and development programs.

The African Children’s Choir is operated by Music for Life (MFL), a humanitarian organization that operates in seven African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Through their mission to create leaders of tomorrow through education, MFL has educated over an approximate 52,000 children and impacted over 100,000 people through development programs.

“Our mission is to work with children that are vulnerable or are in needy situations,” said Lidstone. “We will go into a community and we partner with a social worker or a community leader. We try to seek out the children that are in need of an education and whose families cannot provide them with reliable education or meet their basic needs.”

The children will audition for the choir, and if chosen, they will tour with the choir program for a year and then return to Uganda to receive an education.

“Really it’s just the beginning with their relationship with the choir,” said Lidstone. “Their education will be provided bysponsorship and through our organization, on to college and university.”

This particular show features a tight blend of traditional African music.

“The children drum, they dance and they have beautiful costumes that are from Africa,” explained Lidstone. “They also do English music that will include some gospel favourites like This Light of Mine and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands that people will recognize.”

Throughout the concert there will be an opportunity to make donations. A few tables will also be set up with handmade items made by former choir members, along with CDs, DVDs and t-shirts.

“This is more than just a concert and these children’s lives are going to be changed,” said Lidstone. “When they return to Africa and as they continue to grow, they will become educated.”

The African Children’s Choir will be performing at the First Baptist Church (Twp. Rd. 40-5) on Oct. 9th at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

For more information about the choir, visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com.

news@lacombeexpress.com

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