MAC welcomes the jubilant voices of three-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir Sept. 30

  • On Friday, Sept. 30, the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform a special program celebrating American and South African artists who have championed the struggles for civil rights and social justice, including Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and Mahalia Jackson.

    On Friday, Sept. 30, the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform a special program celebrating American and South African artists who have championed the struggles for civil rights and social justice, including Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and Mahalia Jackson. Courtesy of Di Nozzi Lorenzo

 
 
Updated 9/26/2022 12:28 PM

On Friday, Sept. 30, the McAninch Arts Center will host the three-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir.

This performance is the exclusive Illinois engagement of the group's 2022 "Hope -- It's Been a Long Time Coming" U.S./Canadian tour.

 

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

The New York Times calls the Soweto Gospel Choir "spirited and spectacular," the Voice says, "It's difficult not to instantly fall in love with the vibrant colors, bright personalities and gorgeous voices of the Soweto Gospel Choir," and Jazz Times hails them as "nothing less than an international treasure."

The joyful program commemorates South Africa's Freedom Movement and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

The Soweto Gospel Choir, led by choir master, choreographer, tenor, dancer and founding member Shimmy Jiyane, was formed in November 2002. Their first album "Voices of Heaven" was recorded in December 2002. That album went on to reach the No. 1 spot on Billboard's World Music Chart within three weeks of its release in the U.S. In just the second year of the choir's formation, they won three awards, the Helpmann Award (Australia's prestigious performing arts award for "Best Contemporary Music Concert"), the American Gospel Music Award for "Best Choir," and the American Gospel Music Award for "Best International Choir." They have garnered numerous awards and honors since, including three Grammy Awards, the most recent, for "Freedom" in the Best Traditional World Music Album category.

The Soweto Gospel Choir has made many television appearances, performed for notable individuals including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Charles, Prince of Whales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and performed at the Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela at the Westminster Abbey. The choir has toured the world extensively, performing at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the Nelson Mandela Theatre and Royal Festival Hall in London. They have performed at high profile festivals such as the Edinburgh Festival, the Adelaide Festival, the Hong Kong Festival and the London Festival.

Tickets are $55 -$65.

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a free preshow MAC Chat provided by Cornelius Johnson, a versatile artist, tenor and professor who has performed in recital and concerts across the country.

For tickets or additional information, call (630) 942-4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org.

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