Choir returns to region

Members of the Pearl of Africa�Childrens Choir�will be performing in Blyth on Saturday.
Members of the Pearl of Africa�Childrens Choir�will be performing in Blyth on Saturday.

An energetic and vibrant young choir from Uganda is back in Northumberland.

And organisers are hoping that residents will support the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir and its fund-raising cause on Saturday when the singers are in Blyth.

This is the eighth visit to the region for the students – who sing uplifting spiritual songs in close harmony, accompanied by African drumming. They will be in the North East, including parts of Northumberland, until October 1 as part of their three-month trip to the UK.

On Saturday, they will be at Morrisons in Regent Street between 11am and noon and the choir is going to perform an informal concert in St Cuthbert’s Church, Plessey Road, from 2pm, tickets are not needed but donations are invited.

The main concert of the day will be at St Bede’s Church, Newsham, from 7pm. Tickets are priced £7 (concessions £5) and they are available from the church or by calling 07858 760778.

The tour is organised by the charity Pearl of Africa Child Care Ltd, which supports the six non-government Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation Schools in south west Uganda.

Choir members are drawn from pupils at these schools, which provide education, shelter and healthcare for approximately 2,000 young people, many of whom are orphaned or otherwise destitute.

The children, who vary in ages from eight years old, are being accompanied by some of their teachers. They are also visiting schools, markets and garden centres to raise awareness of and funds for the six schools.

Local volunteer Astrid Adams said: “This is the third year I have been involved with the choir. Its members leave their familiar surroundings and spend three months travelling and performing simply to keep their schools going.

“I am full of admiration for them and those who work so hard to organise the tour.

“I know these young people will enthral audiences of all ages with their traditional vibrant African music and colourful costumes, giving wonderful performances of singing, dancing and of course African drumming.

“As well as wonderful entertainment, there will be an opportunity to buy from a range of beautiful, hand-crafted authentic African crafts at both St Cuthbert’s and St Bede’s. 

“All proceeds go to support the work of the foundation in Uganda.”

For more information about the charity, visit www.pearlofafrica.org.uk