By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Wednesday, May 16, the renowned African Children’s Choir will perform in Oklahoma City. The concert will take place at First United Methodist Church, 131 NW 4th Street at 6:30 p.m. The concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.
“The choir that will be coming to your area is comprised of 18 children from Uganda and they are 8-11 years old,” said Tina Sipp, Choir Manager. “Their concert is a blend of contemporary Christian music, gospel, inspirational favorites and ethnic worship music.
“There is also a traditional dance troop from Uganda and a drum ensemble,” Sipp added. “The program is very engaging, energetic, inspiring and colorful with three different traditional African costumes. Audiences are captivated by the hope, joy and resiliency the children exude despite their vulnerable backgrounds.”
Choir performances support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development.
Music for Life (MFL), the parent organization for the African Children’s Choir is active in the African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa. MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history.
The organization’s goal is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education and developing leadership.
The children in the choir represent the potential of the thousands of children in Africa who are trapped in the cycle of poverty.
The program provides for the children’s well being and quality education, utilizing the transformative power of music. Participation in the choir helps to instill Christian principles through teaching and leading by example while bringing relief and development to African nations in crisis.
The African Children’s Choir has performed before presidents, heads of state, including the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for the Diamond Jubilee Concert held outside of Buckingham Palace.
The choir has also had the honor of singing alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith, and other inspirational performers
Currently the choir tours the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, giving high energy performances in places ranging from churches, community theaters and television appearances on American Idol and The Tonight Show.
Sipp added, “Help us help Africa’s most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.”
The African Children’s Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to building Africa’s future by reaching out to its children today who will lead the continent into a better tomorrow.
Music for Life offers two types of sponsorship programs to help the children of Uganda. Through the Child Sponsorship program a needy boy or girl in Uganda can be funded who will then attend the community schools supported by Music for Life. Their care includes tuition and school fees, school supplies, uniforms and a meal each day, until they have completed high school.
The Choir Member Sponsorship program helps to provide a member of the choir with full care at the African Children’s Choir Primary School, a boarding school in Entebbe, in Central Uganda through their developing years. The cost to support a Choir member is $200 per month. Most children have four sponsors at $50.
In 1984, human rights activist Ray Barnett founded the African Children’s Choir when he was called on during Uganda’s bloody civil war to help the many thousands of orphaned and starving children.
“Inspired by the singing of one small boy, we formed the first African Children’s Choir to show the world that Africa’s most vulnerable children have beauty, dignity and unlimited ability,” Barnett said.
For more information, visit africanchildrenschoir.com.