On 5 December, pupils, staff and parents from Winterfold School in Chaddesley Corbett enjoyed a magnificent concert by the Pearl of Africa Choir.
The children were mesmorised by the colourful costumes of the Choir and their amazing display of traditional African dance, song and drums. After the performance, they had the opportunity to purchase African items at the craft fayre.
At the start of each year, hundreds of children from Molly and Paul Foundation schools audition for the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir during ‘Enrichment Week’. Within the schools, there are many talented children but selection is not just based on talent, everyone has to also show a commitment to their academic studies, as choir training takes place after their normal school day.
Members of the choir are aged 7 years upwards and after being selected for the choir, the members live, train and attend school together for nearly 8 months before they arrive in the UK.
Each September until early December, 18 choir members tour the UK, performing in schools, churches and performance venues. The choir generally spends one or two weeks in each region visiting different schools during the day to provide workshops in African singing, drumming, dancing and craft-making. These workshops provide valuable insight for UK school children to understand a different culture and way of life.
By Sue Atkinson,
Winterfold School, Chaddesley Corbett