Soweto Gospel Choir to grace Toronto

Soweto Gospel Choir - “an international treasure” - will be at the Sony Centre on Dec. 4.
Soweto Gospel Choir – “an international treasure” – will be at the Sony Centre on Dec. 4.

They have brought joy to people around the world for more than a decade and the Soweto Gospel Choir plans to do that again in Toronto when they perform at the Sony Centre with their all-new holiday-themed Celebrate! tour on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p m.
Bono of U2 calls Soweto Gospel Choir “brilliant” while Jazz Times Montreal refers to them as “nothing less than an international treasure.”
The audiences will have a chance to celebrate alongside the choir as they sing the beautiful African Gospel music they are known for jubilantly performing as well as holiday favourites such as O Holy Night and Little Drummer Boy.
Heralded as “absolutely thrilling” by Billboard Music, the 20-plus strong choir, under the direction of Beverly Bryer, draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around the South Western Townships of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.
The group performed at the first of the 46664 concerts in the early 2000s, a series of AIDS charity concerts played in honour of Nelson Mandela, and has since toured internationally several times.
The choir has won numerous awards worldwide including two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, American Gospel Music Award, a Helpmann Award (Australia) and multiple South African Music Association awards.
In 2009 the Soweto Gospel Choir performed their Oscar-nominated Down to Earth with Peter Gabriel on the Academy Awards broadcast, the first South African artists to do so.
They have collaborated with artists such as Bono and U2, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban and performed for influential public figures including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mandela.
In December 2013, Soweto Gospel Choir partnered with Woolworths to support the Operation Smile South Africa Christmas campaign.
It had planned a flash mob performance of James Brown’s I Feel Good at a Woolworths store in Pretoria, South Africa, but after the passing of Mandela, they chose to sing Johnny Clegg’s haunting Asimbonanga in tribute to Madiba’s passing. The YouTube video of the event quickly went viral and has over 5-million views.
Throughout September and early October the choir performed with international superstar singer, clothing designer and activist Pharrell Williams as a part of Woolworths’ Are You With Us campaign aiming to improve education, raise environmental awareness and promote social cohesion across South Africa.
The choir continues to inspire individuals thorough their gospel music and involvement in international charities, including their own AIDS orphans foundation Nkosi’s Haven Vukani, for which they have raised over US$1,500,000.
Tickets can be purchased at Sony Centre Box Office, at 1-855-872-SONY (7669) or online at