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AFRICAN CHILDREN'S CHOIR BRINGS "JOURNEY OF HOPE" TO GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
AFRICAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR
“JOURNEY OF HOPE”
Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 4 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., March 15, 2010 – Born in war-torn Uganda, the African Children’s Choir was founded by human rights activist Ray Barnett, who wished to show the world that the choir’s members, like the millions of needy and orphaned children in Africa, have beauty, dignity and unlimited potential. Titled “Journey of Hope,” this joyful performance blends song and dance from the entire continent of Africa and features more than 10 languages, unique cultural dancing and uplifting gospel music. The African Children’s Choir performs at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Sunday, April 11 at 4 p.m. This performance is Family Friendly – tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
The first African Children’s Choir was made up of children who were born in Uganda during the final years of Idi Amin’s regime. In 1984, Uganda was embroiled in a Civil War that left hundreds and thousands of orphans in great need. Barnett organized the choir to travel to the West to tell the story of these children in hope that the rest of the world would come to their aid and help relieve the widespread suffering in Uganda. Since that first journey, the choir has expanded its operations beyond its international touring program to serve children and families in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and South Africa. The proceeds from touring provide thousands with the opportunity to overcome their circumstances, as well as the resources they need to make a positive impact on society. The choir’s relief, education and music programs currently support programs and efforts for almost 8,000 underprivileged children, ranging from schools for the “Lost Boys” of Sudan; teachers’ colleges; literacy schools in the inner city; support centers for orphans suffering from AIDS, starvation and disease in South Africa; and university sponsorship programs for former choir members.
As founder and director of the African Children’s Choir, Ray Barnett has worked to develop the choir into an internationally acclaimed performance group, while raising funds to help thousands of destitute children receive an education and hope. Under Barnett’s leadership, the choir has gained widespread attention and international acclaim, performing on “Good Morning America,” “The Tonight Show” and “American Idol”; alongside Mariah Carey and Sir Paul McCartney at Live 8 in London; and at Nelson Mandela’s AIDS awareness concert in South Africa. The choir has performed at the British House of Commons and The Pentagon, as well as some of the world’s most prestigious halls, including The London Palladium, The International Club of Berlin and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
An ordained Irish minister, Barnett has been the subject of two television documentaries and has received numerous awards and honors for his commitment to human rights. These include the prestigious Cross of Nails, awarded by the Coventry Cathedral in England to recognize his widespread efforts to promote peace throughout the world, and the Heart of Gold Award bestowed by the BBC.
“We recognized early on that education is the key to long-term change and advancement in Africa,” Barnett said. “It’s the children who will become the leaders of tomorrow and can make the difference. By helping one child at a time, we can move mountains.”
Tickets for AFRICAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR – “JOURNEY OF HOPE” are $42, $34, $21. FAMILY FRIENDLY: Tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. 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 cfa.gmu.edu.
About Great Performances at Mason
Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.
About George Mason University
Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.