African singers head to Bedford

Uganda choir The Pearl of Africa, who will visit Bedford High School in Leigh for a day of workshops and a concert
Uganda choir The Pearl of Africa, who will visit Bedford High School in Leigh for a day of workshops and a concert
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MUSICAL youngsters will enjoy the soulful, vibrant sounds of African choral singing at a day of workshops and concerts.

The Pearl of Africa Choir, from Uganda, will introduce pupils from a number of Leigh primary and secondary schools to the songs and traditions of their homeland to the borough next Monday.

The special day-long visit, which is being held at Bedford High School, will see pupils on the school’s GCSE music course and youngsters from Bedford’s family of local primary schools introduced to African culture, singing and drumming with a series of vocal workshops and concerts.

The internationally-acclaimed children’s choir tours the world bringing the traditions of central and southern Africa to interested young people, and this will be its third visit to Bedford High.

Bedford High head of music James Emberley said: “This is the third time that the Pearl of Africa has visited our school and it is always a really special event.

“Not only does it give our students an insight into musical styles and rhythms they may not be familiar with but it also gives us the chance to learn about the life and culture of Uganda through the international language of song.

“During the evening concert the choir will be joined on-stage by our students and pupils from our primary schools for what should be a superb night of music making.”

The choir’s visit will also serve a serious purpose, with money being raised for the Molly and Paul Childcare Foundation, which builds and maintains the schools many of the choir’s singers come from and promotes improvements in education, healthcare and living standards in Uganda.

Bedford High School head teacher Stephen Preston said: “Events such as this really do help our students appreciate that we are part of a rich and diverse global community but we all share the joy of song, dance and joining together in celebration.

“The performance by the Pearl of Africa Choir has become one of the highlights of our school year and we’re looking forward to a packed house when they take to the stage.”

The Pearl of Africa Choir will perform in concert at Bedford High School’s Upper Hall on Monday, October 22, at 7pm.

Tickets are £4 for adults and £2.50 for concessions.