Soweto Gospel Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral
Tuesday 3 July
In the year which commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, the Soweto Gospel Choir returns to St Paul’s Cathedral in a performance entitled “Amazing Grace, the joy, harmony and power of Gospel.” The title of this piece alludes to the work of John Newton, the former captain of a slave trade ship who went on to become a major abolitionist clergyman. Newton played a significant part in convincing William Wilberforce to force the issue of the slave trade in parliament, leading to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
The Soweto Gospel Choir consists of 24 singers, aged from 22 years old, and their mission is to highlight the new South Africa, presenting a sharp, powerful and vibrant exhibition of their nation. Choir members come from the churches and communities in and around South Africa’s most famous township and their singing mixes earthy rhythms with rich harmonies.
Their unique style draws on Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho gospel songs alongside western classics. The choir are also famed for their vigour in performance, with movement and drumming elements playing a crucial role.
One of the proudest moments in their history was taking part in Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Concert in November 2003. They performed alongside Bono, the Eurythmics, Anastacia, Peter Gabriel and Queen. Mr Mandela had brought them all together to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
The concert is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.