ST. JOHNSBURY — Direct from South Africa, the Soweto Gospel Choir returns to North America this fall with an all-new concert celebrating the holiday season and commemorating the freedom movement in South Africa, as well as the Civil Rights movement in the United States.
Produced by Andrew Kay and under the direction of Choir Master Shimmy Jiyane and Musical Director Diniloxolo Ndlakuse, Soweto Gospel Choir will perform at St. Johnsbury Academy’s Fuller Hall, on December 8, at 7 p.m.
The new show, titled “Hope – It’s Been a Long Time Coming,” will feature gospel music, holiday favorites, and a series of South African freedom songs, along with music of the Civil Rights era including selections by legendary artists James Brown, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, and Aretha Franklin.
Hailing from Soweto (South West Township), a town outside of Johannesburg, home of Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s democratic movement, the Soweto Gospel Choir inspires audiences around the world with their powerful blend of African gospel, freedom songs and international classics. Formed in 2003 at the end of the apartheid era and during South Africa’s inspiring return to democracy, the Soweto Gospel Choir performed many times for former President Nelson Mandela, including at his state funeral in South Africa and subsequent commemorative service at Westminster Abbey. In January of this year, they performed in Cape Town at the funeral service of Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.