Children's Choir to perform at Purvis church on Dec. 8

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The African Children's Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices, and lively African songs and dances.

Pine Belt residents will have the opportunity to hear the choir when members perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Good Hope Baptist Church in Purvis.

The African Children’s Choir is composed of African children, 7 to 12 years old. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of a continent and they demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land.

According to Adam Nicolosi, interim youth minister and youth minister, the concert has been about a year in the making. “I’ve been working on this since February,” Nicolosi said of the world renowned group.

The church is very mission oriented and through their missions, Salt and Light, has done a lot of work in Kenya, Sudan and other areas across the nation and world, as well as locally.

“It’s such an opportunity for them and pays for their schooling,” Nicolosi said. “Only about 17 percent of the children in Kenya have the opportunity to go to university. After traveling for one year with the choir, they have enough to fund their entire education and then their future is set. That’s one of the main reasons we wanted to help them out.”

About 19 or 20 kids will be in the choir when it visits Purvis, along with seven or eight chaperones.

The program features well-loved children's songs, traditional spirituals, and Gospel favorites. Delightful African tunes are accompanied by ethnic instrumentation. The program also includes well-loved children’s songs, hand clapping, traditional spirituals, and contemporary tunes.

A marvelous by-product of the concert is the inspiration the music brings to virtually every listener. In spite of the tragedy that has marred their young lives, the children are radiant with hope, musically gifted, and wonderfully entertaining.

The primary goal of the Choir is to raise awareness of the need of destitute and orphaned children in Africa and to raise funds for continued development and support of the African Children’s Choir Programs. The Choir’s international educational endeavor provides unique training for the children. Once Choir members have completed a concert tour, they will return to their homelands with the tools necessary for bettering their future.

During the past 20 years, the children have appeared in thousands of concerts around the world, including concerts at the Pentagon and the United Nations. They have had the privilege of performing before presidents, heads of state, and most recently the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. 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.

Concerts are free and open to all. A free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African Children's Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development programs. A meal, which is $10 and begins at 5:30 p.m. in the church fellowship, is open to the public. “This will help offset the cost for the bringing the choir here,” Nicolosi said.

The choir will also have items available for purchase before and after the concert and hope to be able to visit with those in attendance during those times as well.

Music for Life (The parent organization for The African Children's Choir) works in seven African countries such as, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. MFL has educated more than 52,000 children and impacted the lives of more than  100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history. MFL purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow's Africa, by focusing on education.

Promotional support of this community concert is greatly appreciated.

The African Children's Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping Africa's most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.

No tickets, donations welcome.

The church is located at 331 Purvis Oloh Road, Purvis. For more information, call the church at 601.794.2972 or visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com.