Nine children’s choirs, including one from Ghana and another from Kenya, have created a virtual performance to raise money for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
The Tygerberg Children’s Choir, a non-profit organisation, launched the Children4Children project on Youth Day, June 16, after reaching out to other children’s choirs facing hardships brought on by the pandemic.
Each choir has chosen eight members to perform a piece that is then combined into a single virtual recording.
Baba Yetu, a Swahili translation of The Lord’s Prayer, was chosen for the performance.
Tygerberg Children’s Choir leader Karina Erasmus said choirs had been in a difficult situation by the end of 2020 because Covid-19 had made live performances impossible.
“I wanted to unite with other regional children’s choirs in South Africa because they shared the same difficulties. We needed some motivation for our choir members to start singing again, and we needed a goal to work towards.
“I planned to expand our repertoire of African music and try to do a choral item with choirs in Africa in a language familiar to them.”
Apart from the Tygerberg Children’s Choir, the other participating choirs are the Cape Town Children’s Choir, South Cape Children’s Choir, East Cape Children’s Choir, Bloemfontein Children’s Choir, Kimberley Children’s Choir, Cantare Children’s Choir, One Voice Choir from Ghana, and St Andrew’s Turi Chapel Choir from Kenya.
The choirs have been practising Baba Yetu since the beginning of the year. “We sang with masks and did recordings outside when the levels were open for singing. It was a very positive way to keep the spirits up,” Ms Erasmus said.
“I hope that the beautiful music, the prayer, the healthy talented children and the joy of their singing will inspire people to open their hearts to give something to children who are not so fortunate.”
Cape Town Children’s Choir director Bronwen Leith said the project was a good opportunity to connect with other choirs in South Africa and Africa. “This is especially needed during this difficult time when choirs are unable to participate in normal activities and can feel isolated from the rest of the choral world.”
The Cape Town Children’s Choir singers had been chosen according to their individual voice parts, the quality of their voices, their ability to learn their parts quickly and their confidence in front of a camera, she said.
“For most of the choristers, singing in a choir is an essential part of their lives, a place where they can express themselves through music, put aside their day-to-day stress, and interact with other children who love singing together and who have become friends. For these reasons, it has been essential that we do everything we can to continue in whatever way possible,” she said.
For further information about the Children4Children project, email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Tygerberg Children’s Choir) or email@example.com (Cape Town Children’s Choir).
Search “Tygerberg Children’s Choir” on YouTube to watch the performance.