New Christmas CD

It has been great to see the vision for a new Christmas CD come to pass.  Emmanuel, is the result of months of hard work, planning, writing and arranging.  At last, the final product, released and officially launched at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on 11 Dec 2014.

In the video below, our camera caught up with Producer, Tre Sheppard and Arranger, Ian Hannah. They told us a little bit about the production and their time spent with the African Children’s Choir.

Today at Stormont, Belfast

Just a few snaps of a wonderful afternoon spent today with the African Children’s Choir at Stormont Government building in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Our appreciation goes to Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and Junior Minister, Jonathan Bell MLA  for their kind words, hospitality and willingness to take a drumming lesson from our expert ten year olds.

This is the first time this particular choir has visited Belfast and I know that in spite of the wind and rain, they will forever fondly remember this city and its people. Of course tomorrow is our big event at the Belfast Waterfront Hall, when our choir will perform alongside a number of school choirs from across Northern Ireland – something we’ve all been looking forward to for a long time now.

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Ray with the choir, posing on the steps inside the magnificent and historic, Stormont Parliament building, Belfast.

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African Christmas – New CD

These are exciting times for the African Children’s Choir! Not only are we celebrating three decades of helping Africa’s most vulnerable children, we’re also looking forward with pride and anticipation to our next chapter. We have some really inspiring and innovative plans for the future of the Choir and our Music for Life projects in Africa.

We are about to release our first African Children’s Choir album in seven years! It will be on general release very soon, but if you would like to pre-order your copy of “African Christmas” now, please contact the UK office on info@africanchildrenschoir.org.uk Alternatively you can call them on 028 9266 66 11. Outside the UK you can get contact details from www.africanchildrenschoir.com

We have collaborated with music producer Tre Sheppard to bring you a magical Christmas album from our African home to yours. I can’t wait for you to hear this music.

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We have brought together both the mature voices of a group of our Young African singers and the energetic sounds of Choir 41 to create a truly beautiful collection of Christmas tracks. The Young African’s, a collective of singers who have all been part of the ACC and are now awaiting the start of their university courses, recorded in South Africa. Tre caught up with Choir 41 when they were at my home Church, Bible Fellowship Church, in Surrey, Canada. Fittingly, it was here I addressed the issue of the crisis in Uganda and shared my vision for the African Children’s Choir some 30 years ago.

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Tre Sheppard is an extremely talented, award nominated producer and songwriter, who’s worked with a whole host of talent. When faced with the basic surroundings of one of our rooms in South Africa Tre and the team used their imaginations, and a few household items, to transform the space into the perfect recording environment. With a vocal booth made out of mattresses and a pop filter created from a pair of tights and a wire hanger, they were ready to go.

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The children were in their element, singing with energy and pride as they always do, dancing with leg shakers to create a truly unique percussion on the tracks, the experience was uplifting for all involved.

Of the experience Tre said “I’ve been honoured to work on many records with a wide variety of talented and award winning artists in various extraordinary studios around the world, but the most rewarding experience I’ve had was recording the amazing children and young adults of the African Children’s Choir. In South Africa and Canada, we created two makeshift recording spaces and worked long and hard, tracking the vocals for an amazing Christmas album with songs that will stay in your heart and head, long after the Christmas season is over.”

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I wanted you to have a sneak peek behind the scenes of the making of our new album – African Christmas, and give you this opportunity to order your copy today.  God Bless and thank you!

Ray

They’re Back!!

Friends In The West Prayer Bracelets

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The Old

Prayer bracelets, which formed part of an overall strategy to remind people to pray for prisoners who had been incarcerated for their faith in the Soviet Union during the 1970’s, have been reintroduced. It was back then that Ray Barnett and his organisation, Friends In The West, first called on Christians across the world to pray according to the Bible verse in Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (New International Version).

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The New

Ray is once again calling on Christians everywhere to pray. The first set of bracelets have the inscription, ‘#BringThemHome’ – a reference to more than 200 female students who were kidnapped in April 2014 from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria.   Following the kidnapping, Boko Haram – an organisation that has been blamed for nearly 4000 deaths in 2014 – released videos boasting that they were holding the girls captive. Just today, (14 Nov 2014) BBC and other news sources have reported that Boko Haram militants have seized Chibok, the two from where the girls were kidnapped.  BBC described Chibok as a relatively small, mainly Christian town.

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Ray Barnett

As the founder of the African Children’s Choir and with the overall responsibility for the education and welfare of hundreds of children in Africa, Ray Barnett understands the acute pain and anguish that the relatives, guardians and friends of the kidnapped girls must feel. He believes that sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.  Action must be taken.  Christians must pray!

In the past, Friends In The West acted as a support organisation to Christians who were being persecuted. Over the years, as Ray’s responsibilities with the ever-expanding work of the African Children’s Choir grew, and as the Soviet Union reformed and eventually dissolved, the work of Friends In The West became less critical. However, considering  the level of persecution and martyrdom that is taking place in today’s world, Ray believes the time has now come to resurrect that work. The article below from an early campaign , spells out the Friends In The West vision.

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Sarah’s Run in Ugandan Press

The  story of Sarah’s 30 mile run to raise funds for the African Children’s Choir was carried yesterday in the Ugandan Press in ‘New Vision’ which is described as “Uganda’s Leading Daily”. Below is a short excerpt, but you can read the full story by clicking on the following link:  http://bit.ly/1uj36Px

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Sarah’s run took place five days ago on 28th September, but the campaign is still open for donations until Oct. 5th through her personal Indiegogo page. You can visit and make a donation by clicking the following link.
Indiegogo/SarahLambie_run

Founder of the African Children's Choir, Music For Life and Friends In The West.