Note: This post submitted by Tislam Swift, Site Assistant for the AMPlify Concert Choir.
This past week, I had the pleasure of working alongside Aisha Bowden and Dantes Rameau at the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s (ACFB) Holiday party. Our R. Nathaniel Dett Concert choir would be featured that afternoon. This being the inaugural performance, everyone was filled with excitement and holiday spirit. As I helped with set up and sound check, Ms. Bowden prepared the young singers with warm-ups and pep talks moments before their first performance. They shifted into gear and proved they were ready to sing for the ACFB party guests!
As we entered the room of holiday chatter, the children immediately took the spotlight as they mounted the choir risers. After a warm introduction by the ACFB Founder and Executive Director Bill Bolling, it was time to shine! They would perform a variety of selections including an arrangement of the very popular ‘Route 66” and a medley of African Carols entitled “African Celebration”. The children were led by Ms. Bowden’s passionate and enthused directing, resulting in loud cheers and clapping. Having worked with these children since September, it was certainly a proud moment for me. They were able to utilize the skills learned and apply them in performance. Additionally, they were able to mingle with the partygoers after performing -which started many interesting conversations.
Although many of them may never become professional musicians, this experience allowed them to be exposed to the endless possibilities of hard work, commitment and dedication. In addition, these children also contributed and donated 105 pounds of food, enough for 87 meals. They are proving that even at an early age, they can be advocates for social change. I look forward to more inspiring moments like these with our children and the AMPlify family.