06/24/13 — African Children's Choir to perform at church

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African Children's Choir to perform at church

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 24, 2013 1:46 PM

The African Children's Choir, comprised of orphans who have lost one or both parents through war, famine or disease, will be performing in Goldsboro on July 7 at The Lord's Table.

The world-renowned African Children's Choir will be appearing in concert in Goldsboro next month.

The group of orphans was discovered in 1984, in the midst of Uganda's civil war, when a human rights activist traveled to the country to help thousands of displaced and starving children. From that was borne a choir of youngsters who travel the globe raising awareness and funds for literacy schools and others like them.

Over the years, more than 1,000 children have participated in the choir. They have performed for the Queen of England, Nelson Mandela and as backup for the rock band Queen.

They were featured on an American Idol special, "Idol Gives Back" and the show's Season 6 finale.

And on July 7, they will present a concert at The Lord's Table church in Goldsboro.

Sixteen 7-to-10-year-olds will perform, said Mitch Ham, worship pastor at the church.

He explained that there are several touring groups that are part of the African Children's Choir, representing orphanages in such areas as Uganda and Kenya.

"When they finish a tour, they retire that number," he said. "This is Choir 40. It's not the same kids each time but it's the same director."

The effort to secure them for a local performance began as part of a missions project for Ham.

"I'm into the cultural thing when it comes to Christianity," said Ham, who plans to travel to Uganda for a week in August. "The whole reason was to bring a new awareness on missions on a higher level.

"Our church has a pastor in Uganda and we have a pastor in Kenya, so there's an extended part of us there in both countries."

The children's choir will actually be in the community for three days, Ham said.

"They'll be going to school," he said. "So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (of that week) they'll actually be in the classroom with their teachers and chaperones.

"Even though they're out raising funds for the children back home and their own personal education they're still not neglected. They get their school in and after school, they'll be heading to the Y -- they love to swim -- and they'll be with families from the church in the afternoon."

The concert that Sunday night will start at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6.

There is no admission charge, Ham said, but a love offering will be taken and merchandise will be available for purchase.