Universal Gospel Choir stages benefit concert in Richmond

The Universal Gospel Choir will present a concert on May 2 in Richmond that aims to help grandmothers in Africa.

Presented by the Richmond Gogos, "Music for Africa" is a fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

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The Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the campaign in March 2006, in response to the crisis faced by African grandmothers as they struggle to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS.

Since then Canadians have raised $19.5 million for the campaign, which funds grassroots organizations that provide grandmothers and children in their care with supports that include food, educational supplies, uniforms and school fees, medical care, HIV counselling and testing and adequate housing and bedding.

The 70-member Universal Gospel Choir regularly performs free of charge for various social organizations' fundraising efforts. Its Richmond concert will showcase the choir's eclectic repertoire that blends old school and urban gospel with social justice anthems, world rhythms and uplifting pop.

Founded in 1985, the choir today is directed by Lonnie Delisle, a renowned conductor, performer and keyboardist. Delisle is also artistic director of the Delisle Vocal Project and music director at Canadian Memorial Church.

The Saturday, May 2 concert begins at 8 p.m. at Fraserview Church, 11295 Mellis Dr. in Richmond.

Tickets, $10 for children and $20 for adults, available at the door or call Jane Anderson at 604-275-3460.

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