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-- Reporter's notebook --


February 1, 2010


The amazing Soweto Gospel Choir

By Becca Lazarus and Laquandria Fenn

Junior reporters, Youth Journalism International


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Jiyane Shimmy, conductor for the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Becca Lazarus/



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Soweto Gospel Choir performing at ESPN.

Kiernan Majerus-Collins/

BRISTOL, Conn., U.S.A. – A performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir is an amazing sight to see.


This awe-inspiring choir impressed us with the magical way they sang in beautiful harmony and danced in perfect unison.


We had only heard about and read about this choir and had never heard them ourselves until their performance at ESPN.

You can believe us when we say this was definitely not what we expected – in a good way.


The Soweto Gospel Choir is from Soweto, South Africa. The choir formed in 2002, but it seems like they have been together for much longer. Their music sounds like a fusion of jazz, hip hop, and gospel.


Their concert at ESPN included many soloists, even Jiyane Shimmy, the choir’s charismatic conductor and choreographer who delighted the audience when he sang in a sweet, high voice.


Mr. Shimmy – who shook his shoulders when he told us his name – and the rest of the choir kept the audience captive with their spirited songs.


We could tell right away that it was going to be a wonderful show, because they came out with very nice smiles, ready to lift peoples’ spirits, and that they did.


The moment they started singing, big goofy grins appeared on our faces and happiness seemed to spread around the room. As they saw their audience getting into the music, the choir’s performance – and their smiles – grew more and more joyful.


This choir splits when it travels; only half goes on the road while the others stay in Soweto. If just half of them could grab the audience at ESPN, we can only imagine what all of them sound like together.


We’re sure that would be an event worth seeing! You can see we very much enjoyed the Soweto Gospel Choir. If you ever get a chance to see them, you should do it. Until then, check out the group's website.



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