Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Gospel choir’s performance to benefit African orphans

South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir will perform at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2002, the choir has quickly ascended to international fame, winning several awards, including Grammy Awards in 2007 and 2008 for Best Traditional World Music Album.

Made up of 26 vocalists from churches in and around Soweto, the choir performs both contemporary and traditional gospel music and sings in six of South Africa’s 11 official languages.

Newman Center Executive Director Stephen Seifert explains that while the choir uses gospel music to express the joy of faith, “they are also spreading the joy of their home, South Africa, the ‘rainbow nation.’”

The choir also employs its talents to raise awareness and address social problems.

In 2003 the choir founded NKosi’s Haven Vukani. Proceeds from the choir’s performances benefit the foundation, which supports South African children orphaned by AIDS. By August the choir had raised $1,046,600.

Tim Sisk, associate dean for the Korbel Graduate School of International Studies, will give a “Behind the Curtain” lecture on the current cultural and political climate in South Africa an hour before the choir’s performance. The lectures is free and doesn’t require the purchase of a ticket.

Tickets for the event are $52 for orchestra and parterre, $38 for mezzanine and $28 for balcony; ticket prices include parking.

Tickets can be purchased through Newman CenterRitchie Center and TicketMaster box offices. For more information, call the Newman Center at 303-871-7720.

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