Introducing the Soweto Gospel Choir
It was back in 2002 when two choir directors, Beverly Bryer and David Mulovhedzi formed the Soweto Gospel Choir. With its roots set in Soweto, South Africa, the choir consists of over thirty members. Releasing its debut studio album in the same year titled Voices of Heaven, the record achieved instant success making its way to the top of the US Billboard World Music Chart in just a matter of three weeks. In the following year, the Soweto Gospel Choir went on to win its first award. Winning the Helpmann Award from the category of Best Contemporary Music Concert, the South African singing sensation rose to fame within a years time. In the same year, Soweto Gospel was awarded American Gospel Music Awards for Best International Choir and Best Choir.
Honors & Performances
The international singing group was then presented with the honor of being invited to perform for President Bill Clinton at a corporate function held at Little Rock, Arkansas. If this wasnt enough Soweto Gospel Choir was amongst the very first few groups to perform in the 46664 concerts that were held to honor Nelson Mandela. Other guests that were a part of the show included Tokyo Sexwale, Mrs. Zanele Mbeki, Alfre Woodard, Carlos Santana and Samuel L. Jackson. The choir also performed at Unite of the Stars Gala Banquet held in 2006 in South Africa. In the same year, Soweto Gospel came forth with its sophomore release titled Blessed. A year later, another studio album African Spirit became public. Both of these albums went on to win the prestigious Grammy Award from the category of Best Traditional World Music Album in the years 2007 and 2008. Performing alongside some of the biggest musicians and artists such as Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel, the Soweto Gospel has showcased its magic at the Live Earth concert in South Africa and 81st Academy Awards. The gospel group was also seen performing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup final held in Cape Town.
About the Choir
Currently the choir consists of executive producer and director, Beverly Bryer, manager Jimmy Mulovhedzi and choir leaders namely Shimmy Jiyane, Diniloxolo Ndlakuse and Mazwe Mhlongo. The choir comprises of forty two members that include tenors, Amor, Jones, Kaudi, Khumalo, Mabaso, Mahlatji, Makhathini, Mhlongo, Msibi, Ndawonde, Nxumalo, Sithole and Williams; sopranos Chapole, Fata, Khuzwayo, Mnduzulwane, Mtshali, Mulovhedzi, Ngcamu, Sambo and Skosana. Altos include Faya, Makgathe, Mazibuko, Mbongwa, Ndindwa, Nkhumeleni, Nxumalo, Nyamane and Rala-Rala. Together the talented lot makes up one of the worlds most critically acclaimed gospel singing groups.
To date the Soweto Gospel Choir has brought forth four studio albums with its most recent album being released in 2010 titled Grace. All their albums have been released via the Shanachie Records. In 2007 the music group released a live album of its performance at the Goin Home concert. The record was named Goin Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino. Watch them perform live at an upcoming series of events.