Young African voices sing out in Falkirk church

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The world famous African Children's Choir graced Falkirk's St Andrew's West Parish Church last week and gave a rousing performance in front of packed pews.

Made up of youngsters aged between seven and 12 from a variety of African nations, including Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghanam the choir was setup back in 1984 to help raise funds and awareness for the plight some of these children find themselves in – many of them facing poverty and deprivation.

Run by the Music For Life, the choir gives educational support to the children, encouraging and empowering them and their families.

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Appearing last Wednesday night, the 17 youngsters gave personal testimonials and performed a wide variety of hymns, songs and African drum-based percussive displays, complemented by skillfully-choreographed dance routines and lively theatrics.

After the performance, guests enjoyed a delicious buffet supper was served.

Vic Thiessen, African Children’s Choir UK tour leader, said: “When we arrived at St. Andrew’s West Parish Church we were given a warm Scottish welcome by the Reverend Alastair Horne and members of his congregation.

“They made quick work of bringing our belongings and sound equipment into the church and then sat us down to relax and become acquainted with one another over a delicious feast, before arranging for us to be accommodated with our host families for the first of our two night-stay in Falkirk.

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“We have been treated like royalty since we arrived in Falkirk and have greatly enjoyed getting to know our new friends here and experiencing something of the culture and tourist attractions of the area.

“We are so grateful to everyone involved for having us in their homes and for hosting this very special concert and supper reception.”

Also supporting the African Children’s Choir concert and supper reception was a civic delegation which included Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn, depute provost Anne

Ritchie, and councillors Lorna Binnie and Pat Reid.

Councillor Meiklejohn said: “It was a pleasure to have the Children’s African Choir in Falkirk and their performance was both energetic and entertaining. The children were wonderfully confident and talented, and their personal stories and testimonies were very moving too.

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“I am delighted the event was so well attended and hope the choir achieve the funding targets that their tour has been designed to raise. I was also delighted the children were able to visit the Falkirk Wheel and take home some unique memories of the district back with them to Africa.”

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