Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Soweto Gospel Choir to Perform at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque in April

What does Albuquerque have in common with Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Omaha? They are among the handful of lucky cities on the North American tour for the Soweto Gospel choir.  The choir--known as an ambassador for Nelson Mandela's 46664 campaign--will be performing at Popejoy Hall on the campus of the University of New Mexico on  Friday, April 4.

The 46664 campaign is a wonderful effort established by the late South African leader to prevent and create global awareness about HIV/AIDS.  Nelson Mandela was sent to prison on Robben Island in 1964; he was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. He was given the prison number 46664. Thirty-eight years later, Mandela gave his number to a global HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness campaign as a reminder of the sacrifices he made for a cause he believed in. 46664 (pronounced "four, double six, six four") was established in 2002 as an independent, not-for-profit organization.

The Soweto Gospel choir is also involved with other important efforts, including education (1Goal), crime prevention (SHOUT), poverty eradication (United Nations Millennium Development Goals), integrity of medicines and pharmaceuticals (Interpol's Proud to Be campaign).  The choir has also served as UN Envoys for Africa and has founded its own AIDS orphans foundation, Nkosi's Haven Vukani, to assist organizations that receive little or no funding.

While activism is part of the core of the Soweto Gospel choir, its songs of celebration, energy and inspiration are its essence. The 52-member choir, under the direction of Beverly Bryer, draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto, South Africa. The choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world. Since their inception in 2002, the group has won numerous awards and performed with many notable musicians.

The choir's performances have touched audiences around the globe. "From performing with U2 and Peter Gabriel, to special performances for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu - The Soweto Gospel Choir has been called the best international act for a reason," said a recent promo for its North American tour (scheduled for Feb/ 4-March 19). "They have seen every stage, and collaborated with the best. Their charitable contributions are unprecedented, and they connect people around the globe with an inspirational message of fellowship and humanitarianism (a message that is potent in their music). It is an exciting time when the Soweto Gospel Choir heads to the United States for they carry with them a spirit that lights up the entire nation."

More on Albuquerque performance
The Soweto Gospel Choir will perform at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque on Friday, April 4, 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are available online or at the Popejoy box office. (You can get balcony tickets for as low as $20)

Check out this video of choir members offering a tribute to Nelson Mandela at a public site.

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