Spring shines through Soweto Gospel Choir

Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

When the sound of a 26-member choir can fill a venue suited for over a thousand people, something hap­pens that can only be described as magical. That sound belongs to the Soweto Gospel Choir, directed by David Mulovhedzi and Vusimuzi Shabalala. They performed here at Viterbo’s Fine Arts Center March 15.

The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in 2002, and has since evolved into an international phe­nomenon. In just a decade, their rel­atively small troupe has circumnavi­gated the globe several times over, performing with celebrities includ­ing Diana Ross, Celine Dion, the Black-Eyed-Peas, and Bono. They have received a plethora of awards, including two Grammys, three As­sociated Grammys, an Emmy and an Oscar nomination.

Their performance last Thursday night was equally as impressive as their stellar resume. I have never seen a more energetic, joyful group of performers, their enthusiasm re­flected and refracted by their tradi­tional African Technicolor costumes.

What set this choir apart from any other I’ve seen is their movement. All choristers are encouraged to “feel” the music as they sing, which usually means a light bob here or there, but this choir never stood still.

The singers clapped, jumped, shuffled, and whistled as they sang, breathing life into the otherwise un­used stage. The result was a swell­ing of sound that even the strong walls of Viterbo could not contain.

As I sat in the audience, letting the colors and sounds wash over me, I thought, this is spring. Amidst my mound of homework and other re­sponsibilities, this 26-member choir reminded me how everything is coming back to life.

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