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(Published: December 01, 2018)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is honored to host the four-time Grammy Award-winning and internationally acclaimed World Music sensation SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR, as they present a Celebration of Song and Culture honoring President Nelson Mandela on Sunday, December 9th, 2018 at 4pm. Back by popular demand, the SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR celebrate the unique and inspirational power of South African gospel music which is filled with deep emotion and rich harmonies that lift the soul.
This concert continues the completion of the first phase of renovations at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Concert goers will find that the lobbies have been upgraded for ADA compliance with new ramps and carpeting, and the interior of the theater will have new seating, carpeted aisles, and finished flooring as well. The $15.4 million dollar refurbishment of the Center, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019, will also include 5,400 square feet of enlarged space, with a new main entrance and a redesigned box office, plus new administration offices and restroom facilities on the first and mezzanine floors, and an elevator. The Center seats 2,278 people in the concert hall and is the largest of its kind in the borough. Funding for the project is being provided by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature, the Bronx delegation of the New York City Council, and the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Additional funding is being raised with a seat naming initiative, which allows community members to make a personal connection with one of New York City's most important not-for-profit entertainment venues
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR on Sunday, December 9th, 2018 at 4pm are $45, $40, $25 | Children 12 & under, $10 any seat, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm, and beginning at 2pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR‘s universal message of love, unity, and hope, along with its captivating melodic and harmonic wonder, mesmerizing showmanship, and awe-inspiring performances featuring bright and colorful carnival costumes, has made believers of millions of fans around the world. Formed in Soweto, South Africa in 2002 by choir directors David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer, the ensemble comprised of some of South Africa's greatest singers, blends elements of African gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae, and American pop music. Their first album Voices of Heaven was recorded in December 2002, and went on to reach the No. 1 spot on Billboard's World Music Chart within 3 weeks of its United States release. Their next album, Blessed (2005), won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music as did their following release, African Spirit (2007), in 2008. In 2009 they were nominated for three South African Music Awards (SAMA) for their Grammy-nominated album Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre, winning the SAMA for Best Duo or Group. They received their fourth Grammy nomination in 2010 for their next album Grace. The Soweto Gospel Choir has also received Grammy Awards for their contributions on "Down to Earth" (2009), the choir's collaboration with Peter Gabriel for the film Wall-E, and also two Grammy Awards for Christopher Tin's song "Baba Yetu" (2010). Over the years, the choir has recorded and/or performed with stars as varied as Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Hugh Masekela, John Legend, Bono and U2, the Black-Eyed Peas, Anjelique Kidjo, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chance the Rapper. In addition to their Grammy Awards, the choir has been honored with one Emmy Award, three South African SAMA Awards (and six nominations), one Oscar nomination, and two Kora All African Award nominations, among others. However, the Soweto Gospel Choir considers their greatest achievement to be their charity, Nikosi's Haven Vukani, for which they have raised over 1.5 million dollars to assist victims of AIDS and their families in South Africa. For the first half of this concert, the choir will perform "Songs of the Free", a rousing program celebrating the centenary of the birth of the father of their Rainbow Nation, Nelson Mandela, including "Amazing Grace", and selections from the choir's newly released album Freedom, songs with an uplifting message sung in English, and several of South Africa's tribal languages. Following that, the performers will share international gospel classics and holiday favorites including their famous renditions of "Silent Night" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2018-2019 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by Goya Foods, TD Bank, Con Edison, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Havana Café, and the Friends of Lehman Center.

More Information: http://https://lehmancenter.org/soweto-gospel-choir/

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