Tuesday, August 17, 2010

African Children's Choir Training Centre

Today we visited the school where the African Children's Choir gets trained. Each year a different group of kids are auditioned and selected to form a choir. All the selected kids move from their villages to Kampala and move into the training academy. For 6 months the rehearse singing dancing and drumming for about 4 hours a day. They also continue their regular schooling, do chores, go on field trips, and have time for the all important pastime, football. The centre has staff from Uganda, US, and Canada and the team is currently training the 36th and 37th African Children's Choirs.
When I arrived, I was greeted with several hugs, and the kids would not let me carry my bag - they insisted on doing that for me. Bob, Joshua, Frank, and another guy whose name escapes me all have me a personal tour of their home. They are very proud of where they stay and the activities they do there. We ate dinner with the choirs - matoke (mashed plantains) and ground nut sauce (something like hot runny peanut butter). This is a meal we have had many times while in Uganda.

Somehow the kids found out I could play the drums so they asked if we could go upstairs so I could show them how to play. It turned out that this group of 10 year olds taught me a thing about playing the drums. They were amazing and they've only been playing for about 6 months. More and more kids came in and it wasn't long before the mzungus were treated to an impromptu show. There are no appropriate words to describe the talent we witnessed.

We were asked to teach a few songs to the kids. Blessed Be and Glory Hallelujah Jubilee are our hits so we taught them those. It was then time for devotions. The kids started singing and drumming with no help from the adults. The sound was fantastic, it was like nothing I've heard before. I looked up at the clock and it was quite obviously stuck at 11:01 but deep down inside I wished that time had stopped for real and that we could sit and listen indefinitely. Watching and listening to these kids could make any skeptic a believer. They sang with all of their hearts, souls, and bodies.

Allison pulled a great little message out of butt. She talking about the singing in the Bible: God created singing, David sang, Mary sang, the angels sang, the first church sang, and now, the African Children's Choir sings! All the adults stayed up late jamming and singing together and sharing stories and enjoying each others company.

It was a cool day!

No comments:

Post a Comment