African Choral Project concert Saturday

Published 7:03 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The inaugural African Choral Project Concert at The Studio in the spring of 2009 had people dancing in the aisles. Promoters expect more of the same at the second annual African Choral Project Concert on Saturday, June 12.

Scott Sexton, concert director, said that people came before not knowing what to expect and then were caught up in the moment.

“It was so good to see so much audience participation,” Sexton said. “Everybody got involved and really seemed to have a good time. We are excited to offer this opportunity to our community once again.”

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The African Choral Project Concert will be at 7: 30 p.m. Saturday at The Studio on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Saturday performance will be presented by music and theater students at Troy University.

The choral group includes students who are currently enrolled at Troy University and recent graduates. Sexton is a graduate student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where he has done research on African choral music.

“All of us are dedicated to the preservation of South African choral music,” Sexton said. “Although the concert is free, we will gladly accept donations in support of AIDS orphans in South Africa. So, in that way, the concert is a benefit event.”

The choral group is made up of 22 vocalists and three percussionists. All will be wearing traditional African costumes.

“The African Choral Project Concert offers a different musical experience,” Sexton said. “The rhythms are much more complex than the music we are accustomed to hearing. The African music speaks to my heart. It conveys messages of hope, world peace and love of mankind. The lyrics are beautiful and so full of energy. It’s music that you can’t help but enjoy.”

Half of the program will be religious pieces and the other half traditional folk music of South Africa. Several of the pieces Sexton arranged into four-part harmony.

“Some of the songs are protest songs from the South African apartheid era,” Sexton said. “So, this is an opportunity for the audience to experience another culture through its music and to learn about its history. The audience will also be invited to participate in this unique concert. It’s fun and it’s moving and inspiring. Those who come will be glad they did.”