Grammy award-winning South African choir at CSB

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February 25, 2014

Soweto Gospel Choir

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University's Fine Arts Series presents the Soweto Gospel Choir at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14 in Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center of the College of Saint Benedict. 

The Soweto Gospel Choir is a South African group whose repertoire draws from traditional African songs as well as Christian hymns and popular contemporary songs by artists such as Bob Marley and Simon and Garfunkel. Their concerts include songs sung in Zulu, Sotho and English. This internationally renowned vocal ensemble will tour 37 North American cities in concerts that reflect the color and vibrancy of their rainbow nation while honoring the life and legacy of their late President and friend, Nelson Mandela. 

Over the last 10 years, Soweto Gospel Choir has brought joy into the lives of audiences all over the world. The choir performs "songs calculated to go straight to the heart, sung with that joyous sense of celebration and exuberance that only black South African choirs seem capable of achieving," according to the West Australian newspaper, Perth, Australia. 

It has been an incredible journey from the streets of Soweto to the world's most prestigious venues. Soweto Gospel Choir has gone from completely unknown to being heralded around the world as one of the great vocal ensembles performing today. Along the way they have won two Grammys, an Emmy and an Oscar nomination and have just released its sixth album, "Divine Decade."

The choir has collaborated, recorded and performed with artists including Bono and U2, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peter Gabriel and Josh Grobin. They have performed in front of President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and of course their spiritual fathers, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

But no amount of glittering international recognition and praise has diverted Soweto Gospel Choir from the mission it holds close at heart. In 2003 the choir founded its own AIDS orphan foundation, Nkosi's Haven Vukani. The foundation supports sick and impoverished families and organizations that receive little or no government support. To date, the choir has collected over $4 million for its foundation.

Tickets prices for the Soweto Gospel Choir are:

  • Tier 1 (Chairs-Row M) $35, Senior $32, Faculty/Staff $25, Student/Youth $10
  • Tier 2 (Rows N-W) $27, Senior $24, Faculty/Staff $17, Student/Youth $10
  • Tier 3 (Balconies) $22, Senior $19, Faculty/Staff $12, Student/Youth $10

For more information, contact the Box Office at 320-363-5777 or visit the Fine Arts Program website.   

The Soweto Gospel Choir is sponsored in part by Bernick's, Dr. Jerry and Patty Wetterling - St. Joseph Family Chiropractic, and Proviant Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services. 

These activities are made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.