recess radio program

04/06/07
African Children's Choir
    by John Cech

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That's the African Children's Choir with their glad spin on the ancient African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." It still does, in Africa and everyhere else in the world. And one of the key components in this process is music. Ray Barnett, who went to Uganda to work on behalf of human rights in the late 1970s, was instrumental in founding the choir, which was comprised then, as now, of orphans -- children left parentless due to political atrocities or, more recently, because of the AIDS epidemic that has swept through large populations of the African continent. You would never know the sadness that many of the generations of children who have been a part of the choir have experienced when you hear music like this traditional song, "Parapanda," sung in Swahili:

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The choir tours the US frequently, and their voices can be heard on the soundtracks of motion pictures. But the point of the work of the choir is, hopefully, to be a healing agent in the lives of children who have been abandoned by life. That's where this musical village can be found, it's a place to find -- in every way -- new and soaring harmonies.

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Copyright 2007 John Cech

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Saturday, 31-Mar-2007 21:00:48 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."