African Children's Choir
The African Children's Choir is made up of children aged 7 to 10 years old, and many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. The African Children’s Choir works with some of Africa’s most needy children, most of whom are orphans, and gives them an education, a home, and support throughout their young lives right up until they start work. It provides them with a much needed family and support system.
Beverley Steensma, Director of Music at Ipswich Prep School, has recently taken a sabbatical from her work in Ipswich, to go and join the choir at their base in Uganda, meeting the children currently in the choir, and also experiencing the work carried out by the Music for Life charity with the choir and with children living in slums in Kampala.
Mrs Steensma said: “It was a fantastic experience to see first-hand the brilliant work that is being done by the charity and to meet the inspiring children who make up the choir. All of the children involved in the choir come from backgrounds of extreme poverty and being in the choir literally transforms their lives.
"Firstly by education as they attend an amazing boarding school run by the charity Music for Life and are supported right through to the end of university training. Secondly, during the tours to the UK and the US they get to experience, see and take part in some things that would have been unimaginable for them beforehand. The tour improves their English and gives them huge aspirations for the future.”
She added: “I was lucky to meet many young adults who had sung in the choir and who were now training/working as doctors, teachers, nurses, midwives. The enthusiasm of the children in the choir is infectious and their performances are simply breath-taking. Certainly a concert not to be missed.”
You can read more about Mrs Steensma's trip through her blog posts.
Recently, the inspirational young voices of the African Children’s Choir have charmed both Ipswich Prep School and Ipswich School as they visited both schools and performed concerts for school children and members of the public.
Concerts by the African Children’s Choir featured well-loved children’s songs, hand clapping, traditional spirituals and contemporary tunes. Mrs Steensma said: “Back in 2013 the African Children’s Choir stole my heart when they came to perform at Ipswich School. During their time with us I witnessed not only how the power of music can transform their lives, but also how it can send a message of hope and endurance out into the world.”
You can read about the Choir's performance here.