They are known for melting the hearts of audiences worldwide with their charming smiles, voices and lively songs and dances. The African Children’s Choir brings that dynamic to the Golden Triangle in two performances set for Sunday morning, Feb. 7 at First United Methodist Church in downtown Columbus. The choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children.
Eighteen children will present a 45-minute program at 8:45 a.m. in the church’s Jeff Artz Fellowship Hall, and again at 11 a.m. in the main sanctuary at 602 Main St. The public is encouraged to attend. The programs are free; a free-will offering will be taken at each performance to support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development initiatives.
The musical program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites.
“The costumes are beautiful, and the children are well-taught,” said FUMC Music Director Doug Browning, remarking on the group’s artistic standards.
The African Children’s Choir has performed before presidents, heads of state and even the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The choir has also sung alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith and other inspirational performers.
“I’m very much looking forward to the programs,” Browning said. “I’ve wanted to hear them for years.”
Music for Life, the parent organization for The African Children’s Choir, works in seven African countries — Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana 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. MFL’s purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education.
First Methodist is organizing host homes for the 18 choir members and their accompanying chaperones.
“If anyone has accommodations to put some of these artists up, they can contact the church,” Browning said.
For more information about being a host family, or about the concerts, call FUMC at 662-328-5252.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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