Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in November, 2002 by promoters/presenters Andrew Kay, David Vigo and Clifford Hocking, in association with Executive Producer/Director Beverly Bryer and Musical Director David Mulovhedzi, Soweto Gospel Choir’s five year existence has become an overnight, multi award-winning sensation. In December, 2002 their first album “Voices of Heaven” was recorded and went on to reach the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s World Music Chart within 3 weeks of its release in the US.
In 2003 the choir won its first award, a Helpmann Award, Australia’s prestigious Performing Arts Award, for “Best Contemporary Music Concert”. This success was followed when they won a 2003 American Gospel Music Award for “Best Choir”
In the same year, they won an American Gospel Music Award for “Best International Choir”
In December 2006 they performed at Sun City, South Africa, for Oprah Winfrey and 200 of her V.I.P. guests, including Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Tina Turner, Patti Labelle, Sydney Poitier and Quincy Jones
On 11 February 2007, Soweto Gospel Choir received its greatest accolade, a Grammy Award for their second CD “Blessed”, in the category “Best Traditional World Music”
To add to their string of national and international awards, in November 2007 Soweto Gospel Choir won a Metro FM Music Award for Best Gospel Album for “African Spirit”, based on nominations submitted by the radio station’s listeners, and the public
In February 2008, the choir was awarded a second Grammy Award for their third album “African Spirit”, in the “Best Traditional World Music” category
Also in February 2008, the choir was honoured with the PanSALB Award for Multilingualism and Nation Building, for “Album of the Decade”. The choir has had the honour of performing with gospel legends Bebe Winans and Kirk Franklin
Soweto Gospel Choir received its third Grammy nomination in December 2008, this time in the category Best Contemporary World Music, for their album, “Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre”. In May 2009, the choir was invited to perform at the Inauguration of South Africa’s new President
In April 2010, Soweto Gospel Choir was honoured with the inaugural International Achievement Award, at the South African Music Awards held at Sun City. Also in April, the choir was invited to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 World Trade Expo, held in Shanghai, as the African representative.
They can then add an Emmy to their two Grammys, three ‘associated ‘Grammys, three SAMAS and one Oscar nomination – an amazing achievement.They performed at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert in Soweto, the night before the the opening of the World Cup in June, with an international and African line-up including the Black-Eyed Peas, Shakira, Angelique Kidjo and John Legend.
In December 2010, Soweto Gospel Choir received its fourth Grammy nomination, in the Best Traditional World Music category, for its album “Grace”. The choir was featured alongside the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the song “Baba Yetu” and on the album “Calling All Dawns”, both of which won Grammys in February 2011
In July 2011, eighteen choir members performed six concerts in Maastricht, Holland, with top selling classical violinist, Andre Rieu. They joined the Harlem Gospel Choir on stage as a first time collaboration between these world famous choirs.
Soweto Gospel Choir joined Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his guests for his 80th birthday celebrations, held in Cape Town in October. They performed at the launch of his new book, and backed Bono on “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, as a surprise for the Arch. They also sang with other artists at both the cathedral service and the private luncheon for their patron. Bono described them as “brilliant”!
In November, the choir was given the honour by Clarence House, of welcoming Prince Charles and Camilla, to Soweto, during their royal visit of South Africa.
In June 2012, Soweto Gospel Choir was invited by South African sensation Zahara, to perform with her and special guest Leroy Bell as part of two sold out concerts that were filmed for her forthcoming dvd.
In December, Soweto Gospel Choir was nominated for its second Kora (All Africa) Award
In January 2012, Soweto Gospel Choir performed with other top local artists such as Zahara, Judith Sephuma, AKA, Vusi Mahlasela and Dorothy Masuka as part of the ANC Centenary Concert held in Blomefontein.
Soweto Gospel Choir has founded its own AIDS orphans foundation, Nkosi’s Haven Vukani, to assist organisations that receive little or no funding. To date, the choir has collected over R4million for their foundation. In South Africa, the choir performs for a variety of charitable organisations.
Voices From Heaven
1. Jikela Emaweni
3. Thina Simnqobile
5. Paradise Road
6. Ahona Ya Tswanang Le Jesu / Kammatla
7. Many Rivers To Cross / Going Down Jordan / Amen
8. Amazing Grace
9. Thula Baba
15. Holy City / Bayete (Medley)
16. African Dream
2. Tshepa Thapelo
3. Thula Mama
4. Hallelujah Hosanna
10. Swing Down
12. Woza Meli Wami
13. Asimbonanga / Biko
14. Joko Yahao
16. Lelilungelo Ngelakho
17. I Bid You Goodnight
19. South African National Anthem
20. La Paloma
21. Oh Happy Day
Live At The Nelson Mandela Theater
1. Jesu Ngowethu
2. Seteng Sediba
3. Izwi Lahlab’Inhliziyo Yami
4. Ke Na Le Modisa
6. Avulekile Amasango / One Love
7. River Jordan
8. This Little Light of Mine / M’Lilo Vutha Mathanjeni / If You Ever Needed The Lord
9. Ahuna Ya Tswanang Le Jesu / Kammatla
10. I’ll Remember You
12. Woza Moyam
15. Woza Meli Wami
16. Amazing Grace
18. Sisazoyivuma Le Ngoma
19. World In Union
1. Seteng Sediba
4. Avulekile Amasango
5. Akahhlulwa Lutho
7. I’ll Remember You
8. Sitting In Limbo
9. Izwi Lahlab’Inhliziyo Yami
11. Rivers Of Babylon
12. Forever Young
14. Ke Na Le Modisa
16. Balm Of Gilead
18. Great Is He
19. World In Union