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SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR, 2/18/07
For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES THE
SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
Sunday, February 18, 2007, 4:00 p.m.
Fairfax, Virginia, January11, 2007—A 26-member group that performs in eight languages, the Soweto Gospel Choir, formed in 2002, blends traditional hymns, Western pop and South African harmonies in their signature inspirational, joyful sound, which is, according to The New York Times, “both meticulous and unstoppable.” Traveling the world as ambassadors of hope and goodwill, Soweto Gospel Choir performs selections from their bestselling CDs Voices from Heaven, and Blessed (a 2007 GRAMMY nominee for Best Traditional World Album) at George Mason’s Center for the Arts on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. An artistic discussion, free to ticketholders, is held at 3:15 p.m. on the hall’s Grand Tier.
Earthy rhythms, rich harmonies, a capella stylings and ebullient, charismatic performances, sung in many African languages including Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Venda as well as English, combine dramatically in a Soweto Gospel Choir concert. South African gospel music has a unique sound all its own, with strong roots springing from traditional music and conveying a powerful spiritual message of strength and survival. A live performance by Soweto Gospel Choir includes the seamless blending of the ensemble’s varied voices, brightly colored traditional robes and headdresses, enthusiastic movement, and simple drumming accompaniment. The choir, whose varied repertoire ranges from traditional African gospel in songs like the haunting “Mudimo” and the song of liberation, “Nkosi Sikelele,” to American spirituals like “Amazing Grace,” “Paradise Road,” and “Oh Happy Day,” to Otis Redding classics and even soul-inspired reggae by Jimmy Cliff, believes that “music is the universal language,” explains founder David Mulovhedzi.
Their music and strong faith kept spirits alive during the dark days of apartheid in their homeland, because, Mulovhedzi says, “Gospel is the music that heals the broken spirit.” Today, in addition to their work for several South African AIDS charities, the Choir spends most of its time on the road, spreading its universal message of faith, hope and love through its incomparable vocal power. The choir has performed for Nelson Mandela as part of his 80th birthday celebrations in 2005 and was also featured as part of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 50th wedding anniversary celebrations.
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Tickets for the SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR are $38, $30, $19. Family Friendly! All children twelve and under, half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa