About (a history of the choir)
Grant Pierce, an Australian mining engineer began working in rural Tanzania in 1998. As Grant's involvement with local rural village schools evolved a children's choir was formed, lead by Peter Charles, the late Farida January and Australian Volunteer International teacher Louise Cameron. Education is a luxury in rural Tanzania; the school started as a two room mud hut with no doors or windows, the children sat on rocks and had no books. Over time this drastically changed for the better.
From a modest start a dream became reality when children from three village schools, Isanga, Lusu and Bujulu amalgamated as a 42 strong choir, taking the name Golden Pride Children's Choir. As the children found their voice, their confidence grew and as did their life experiences.
Grant wanted the children to realize if they wanted to be successful they had to work hard and be prepared to overcome their shyness, fear and contribute to their own success. He has constantly avoided giving 'hand-outs' and is a strong advocate of self-empowerment and ownership of projects to drive the success.
In 2003 the choir was professionally recorded and their first CD, Mapambano, was produced along with a promotional video of the children. The CD and video were sent to the WOMAD Festival of World Music in the UK for an opinion on the quality of the choir. This question was answered by an invitation to perform at the 2004 WOMAD Festival in Reading, UK.
An arduous and tenacious process of private fund raising followed. Grant and a committed group of friends raised the required money and organised the trip and logistics. The children performed in front of over 20,000 people in July 2004. When film companies Redhanded from Australia and Libravision of South Africa heard of the story they sought permission to accompany the choir from their remote village to London. A documentary of the children's journey, titled From Rags to Rhapsody, was the result.
As a result of their performance, the choir was invited to Australia in March 2006. They performed in Perth, at WOMAD in Adelaide and at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival. Like the 2004 UK trip, this opportunity was soley dependent on raising the funds for the flights and associated costs. Underpinning the tour was fundraising to build a secondary school in their village.
Whilst in Australia reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and his agent Urs Guentert of Sun Music were kind enough to visit the choir at their accommodation in Adelaide. Out of that meeting came an invitation for the choir to Switzerland in July 2006, to perform at music festivals there. You can contact us for more information or make a contribution to the choirs journey through this website.
The choir have now recorded their 2nd CD titled Live With Pride, released in May 2006.