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African Children’s Choir to perform in Snellville

SNELLVILLE — On Sunday, an international act is coming to Snellville.

No, it isn’t someone who has been shown on MTV or played on the radio. It’s the African Children’s Choir, which performs for free at 6:30 p.m. at Cannon United Methodist Church.

More than 30 years ago, Ray Barnett was on a humanitarian trip to Uganda when he gave a small boy a ride from his demolished home to the safety of another village. During their travels, the child sang, which inspired Barnett.

“When I went back to Canada and people were not very interested in Uganda, I remembered this small boy,” he said. “I knew that if only a group of these beautiful children could go to the West, people would be deeply moved and would certainly want to help.”

In 1984, he founded the African Children’s Choir and they made their first tour to North America. Since then, the group has toured throughout the world performing children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel hits.

The choir is composed of African children ages 7- to 10-years-old. Many members have lost one or both parents due to war, famine and disease.

Most recently, the children sang for the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The Choir has also sang with Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Michael W. Smith to name a few celebrities.

There is no admission for the concert, but donations are encouraged. The funds raised will be given back to the choir, which helps with education, care, relief and development programs.

The primary goal of the choir is to raise awareness of poverty-stricken and orphaned children in Africa and to raise funds for development and support of the African Children’s Choir Programs.

Cannon UMC is located at 2424 Webb Gin House Road in Snellville.