South African Choir joins voices with Banburyshire schools

South African choir at Tudor Hall NNL-151123-142039001
South African choir at Tudor Hall NNL-151123-142039001

A South African choir is aiming to raise the roof - and funds - when it takes the stage at Tudor Hall School near Banbury on Friday.

The 11-strong Johannesburg ensemble, The Sparrow Schools Foundation Choir, made up of singers aged between 14-18, will treat its audience to a selectionof traditional African songe before joiniong forces with other school choirs for the show’s finale.

Students from Beachborough School, Carrdus School and Tudor Hall will join the Sparrow Choir for Asim bonanga u Mandela (We haven’t seen Mandela).

Tudor Hall spokeswoman Emma McGowan said: “Sparrow is an Educational Trust comprising two schools and a further education and training college where over 700 children and young adults, unable to cope in mainstream education, are given a chance to become contributing members of society.

“Many children come from families devastated by HIV/AIDS, are orphaned, have faced abuse, exploitation, deprivation and homelessness. They are all in need of the help that Sparrow can offer, if they are to break out of the cycle of poverty.

“As part of their three week fundraising trip to the UK, the choir will spend five days based with us at Tudor Hall taking part in a plethora of school activities and also visiting Bishop Loveday, Sibford and Wychwood schools.”

Ms McGowan said support from local businesses had been overwhelming with Limes Farm Café treating the choir to a traditional afternoon tea, uniform suppliers Stevensons donating hooded tops, Bakers Coaches sponsoring their transport, City Sight Seeing Oxford taking the choir on a bus top tour of Oxford, Banbury Litho printing the concert programme and Independents at Sodexo sponsoring the concert’s interval drinks.

Tudor Hall has supported the Sparrow Schools Foundation since 2011 as part of its charitable programme ‘Tudor in Four Continents’, where it supports schools and charitable organisations in England, Guatemala, India and South Africa.

A group of Year 12 girls visits the Foundation in Johannesburg to assist in their classrooms and lend a hand wherever help is needed.

“For both Tudor Hall girls and staff, the trips always prove to be wholly inspirational and life changing,” said Ms McGowan.