By: Cari Zahn – Staff Writer
A heart-warming performance is slated for the Dayton area when the African Children’s Choir arrives Nov. 2, bringing their lively program of song and dance with them.
Orphaned children between the ages of seven and 10 from Uganda are selected by church ministers or other leaders to participate in the choir, according to choir chaperone Carrie Lyman. The selected children then go through a series of trainings and auditions to prepare themselves until they are ready to showcase their energy and talent to audiences worldwide.
Singing and dancing are highlights of the choir’s program. Their show features well-known songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Amazing Grace” as well as lesser known African songs that carry a positive message, Lyman said. Their musical selections are typically in the range of gospel, choir and children’s music. The program features traditional spiritual songs as well.
Anyone attending a show put on by the African Children’s Choir can expect to share in an upbeat, fun atmosphere with a group of hopeful and smiling children who are eager to perform, Lyman said.
There is no charge for the choir’s concert, just a free will offering, Lyman said. The proceeds from these donations will directly benefit the quality of life and education of the children in this choir as well as other suffering African children.
Proceeds will also go to Music For Life, which is the choir’s parent fundraising organization that works to improve lives in places such as Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
With a focus on education, Music For Life has educated over 52,000 children and has made an impact in the lives of over 100,000 people total, Lyman said.
In the past, proceeds from the African Children’s Choir have gone to the building of an orphanage in Kampala and a program to start a series of literacy schools for children with no access to proper education. Aside from that, the only thing that African Children’s Choir wishes to raise is awareness for other children in need, according to their official website.
The African Children’s Choir has appeared on TV shows such as “American Idol” and “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and has performed for big names like Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. They’ve traveled all over the world to perform in places like England, Ireland, the Pentagon and the United Nations. Now, they are preparing to make an appearance in Dayton.
The event will be one for the books with their awe-inspiring smiles and ability to warm the hearts of their entire audience. Lyman said exposure to the different culture would be a great learning experience for University of Dayton students.
“I think it’s great for students to be able to experience something new that they aren’t used to,” Lyman said. “It’s a great experience for everyone.”
The African Children’s Choir is eager to demonstrate the potential that all African children have to become leaders and make a difference through their performance, Lyman said.
The African Children’s Choir will perform at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center, 1000 N. Keowee Street, Sunday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. There is no cover charge and patrons of all ages are welcome. For more information, visit africanchildrenschoir.com.