Music for the soul

By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Lynne Dobson The African Children’s Choir will perform at The Church Next Door in west Columbus.
Photo courtesy of Lynne Dobson
The African Children’s Choir will perform at The Church Next Door in west Columbus.

The African Children’s Choir will bring their voices and lively African songs and dances to town in November for a performance at The Church Next Door.

Celebrating 30 years, the choir – known for its high-profile performances in front of world leaders including presidents, heads of state and the Queen of England – will give a free concert at the west Columbus church from 5 to 6:45 p.m. Nov. 1.

The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional spirituals and other favorites.

“The musical performance is filled with lively dance and song that is both culturally African as well as Gospel favorites,” said Sarah Lidstone, North American Choir Operations Manager for Music for Life, the parent organization of the choir.

Music for Life works in seven African countries – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The organization has educated more than 52,000 children and impacted over 100,000 through its relief and development programs, Lidstone said.

“The African Children’s Choir is one of the main programs that MFL runs and through tours across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe, the children are ambassadors for the needy children still in Africa, while providing hope and showing the dignity of each child,” she said.

The choir touring through this region, including the Nov. 1 stop in Columbus, will feature 18 members of the choir.

“These children bring an instant joy and hope to communities and churches,” Lidstone said. “Audiences watch as these children who have come from very little and vulnerable situations share a wonderful hope and vibrancy for life that is contagious, and invites people to join in the choir’s exciting work across Africa.”

In addition to singing in front of several world leaders, the choir has performed alongside musicians such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Michael W. Smith. Most recently, it accompanied South African opera singer, Pumeza Matshikiza on some tracks for her debut album that was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.

The event is free and open to the public, though donations are accepted to support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief, and development initiatives.

The Church Next Door is located at 5755 Feder Road.

For more information, call 878-5695 or go to

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