In May, the world famous Soweto Gospel Choir’s Australian tour began in Central Australia with a visit to the predominantly Lutheran Areyonga community 200 kilometres west of Alice Springs.
The multiple Grammy award winners shared their South African song and dance with the local Pitjantjatjara people, who in turn, gave them a taste of the local indigenous traditions.
Local choir members participated in a joint workshop with the Soweto choir at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Areyonga.
‘We ended up nearly jumping around also like them!’ said Titjikala Choir’s Lena Campbell, ‘We got a bit excited and wanted to dance but we were all in a big group and we were jammed in the corner.’
The workshop was followed by a spectacular performance by the Soweto Choir in Areyonga’s stunning natural amphitheatre known as ‘kulpitja’ or ‘the cave’.
The choirs travelled to Alice Springs where they practiced some more, and presented their songs at two sell-out performances at the Araluen Arts Centre.
As a double bonus, both the Areyonga and Soweto choirs gave daytime performances to students and staff at Yirara College.
The Soweto Gospel Choir visit not only entertained the local people of Areyonga and Alice Springs, but also gave the members of the Areyonga, Titjikala and Asante Sana choirs a rare opportunity to practice and perform with a world-class gospel choir.
‘It was heartening to see how proud and empowered the choir members became through their involvement with this famous Christian choir’, said FRM’s Pastor Rob Borgas at the end of the visit,
Check out http://www.sowetogospelchoir.com/ for the current tour dates of the Soweto Gospel Choir. You won’t be disappointed!