They are no older than the age of 10, but these young people have entertained presidents, heads of state and, most recently, the Queen of England. They have also had the honor of singing alongside artists including Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Michael W. Smith. Many of these 7-10 year olds have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease in Africa.
These are the bright-eyed, smiling, enthusiastic singers and dancers known as The African Children’s Choir.
On Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m., this group will be performing a free public concert right here at First Christian Church of Plano, located at 813 East 15th St. in downtown Plano.
Not only are these young people dancing and singing their way around the globe, they will be guaranteed an education after their tour of the world. As a non-profit humanitarian and relief organization, the group is dedicated to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children today so the children can help Africa tomorrow.
“When word goes out in Africa that the choir is coming to town to hold auditions, people line up by the thousands,” said Dr. Doug Deuel, senior minister at First Christian Church of Plano. “To be selected by the choir, for a child from Uganda, it is like winning the lottery.”
Music For Life (MFL), the parent organization for The African Children’s Choir, works in the African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa and has educated at least 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people to date through its relief and development programs.
MFL’s purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa by focusing on education.
“They are guaranteed an education through college, something that before seemed impossible because of their poverty. Being in the choir dramatically changes the trajectory of their lives,” according to Dr. Deuel.
The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their beautiful voices, charming smiles and lively African songs and dances. The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional Spirituals and Gospel favorites.
The funding for the choir, according to Dr. Deuel, comes from these tours plus donations.
Families from First Christian Church of Plano will host the 18 children and seven adult chaperones for the three-night visit to the area. The children will continue working on their school assignments at the church Dec. 12-13, just as they do in other locations as they tour.
The choir performed at the church last December, and was such a hit that the choir is returning for a command performance. Additional information about the free concert can be obtained by calling the church office at 972-423-3260. Donations will be accepted at the performance to help fund the program.
“The simple idea of changing Africa one child at a time was pure genius. And now, with over 50,000 students who have been educated by this program, it is difficult to comprehend the depth of good the choir has accomplished over the year,” added Dr. Deuel. “It is no small task to generate hope among so many. Yet, The African Children’s Choir does it without fail, year-in and year-out.”
The African Children’s Choir will perform on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at First Christian Church of Plano, 813 East 15th St. in downtown Plano.First Christian Church of Plano > The African Children's Choir >