Minister Pallo Jordan on Soweto Gospel Choir Winning a Grammy Award for Nourishing the Souls of the People of the World.

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12 Feb 2007

I want the men and women singers of the Soweto Gospel Choir to know that I and millions of South Africans sincerely commend them for the splendid contribution they are making to indigenous African choral music. Their achievement  demonstrates that South African talent not only has the potential to raise its voice, compete with its international counterparts, but is of world class.

The winning of a Grammy Award: Best Traditional World Music Album, marks yet another high point for South African Arts and Culture.

The South African story has been told and retold through drama, song, dance and more recently film. Our choristers, conductors, composers and other musicians enjoy our full confidence that, when given a fair chance chance, they can impact on the global stage, carried by the quality of their performances.

The album for which the Soweto Gospel Choir received its award, was recorded and released in 2005. The Soweto Gospel Choir the lyrical content of whose music is cosmopolitan and universal, tells the story of “one human family under one heaven.”

Sowetans share the aspirations and dreams of other people on Mother Earth.

South African choral music has in the past won wide recognition because it resonates with the hearts and souls of human kind. The Soweto Gospel Choir is firmly rooted in that tradition.

This award is shared by millions of choristers, conductors and composers who have gone unrecognized over the decades. It is an acknowledgement and recognition of South African choral music and those who have persevered in its practice with little prospect of reward. The unknown families, friends and communities who have supported male and female choristers, whose sustained belief in choral music has been vindicated by this award, share in it alongside the performers whom they have supported.

This prize will nourish the souls of countless South African choristers . It is a matter of great national pride that our artists have once again merited the laurels of a Grammy, competing with some of the best musicians from around the world. We thank all the judges for the decision.

We congratulate The Soweto Gospel Choir for winning a Grammy. On behalf of our people, whose dreams and visions were shared with the whole world through song, we say: “Well done, we all take pride in your achievement.”                                                               

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For further details call: Sandile Memela, Spokesman for the Minister of Arts & Culture at 082 800 3750 or Premi Appalraju, Media Liaison Officer at 0829036778.