HUNTERSVILLE – More than 25 years ago, Ray Barnett of Vancouver, British Columbia began the African Children’s Choir to educate the Western world about the plight of Africa’s orphaned and abandoned children through song.

Children from various African countries routinely travel to Western regions on musical tours.

The group will soon present African songs and dances, including traditional spirituals and rhythmic gospel pieces, to a Lake Norman audience in its mission to increase educational resources across Africa.

Funds from the concert have helped build orphanages, provide educational supplies and schools, teach trades, offer emergency food and relief supplies and grant medical treatment to the children of Somalia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan and Uganda throughout the AIDS crisis and during times of political upheaval.

The choir has represented Africa’s children to presidents and Queen Elizabeth II at events like Live 8 and World AIDS Day. It has also visited Ground Zero in New York and the shores of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and performed with artists like Alicia Keys and Josh Groban.

Ticket sales for the concert support the expansion of sponsorship and educational programs that the African Children’s Choir provides for both choir children and thousands of others. More than 52,000 children have been educated through the efforts of the choir’s programs.

The concert begins Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at Bridge Church, 11800 Eastfield Road, Huntersville.

For information about the show or to buy tickets, visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com or contact Amanda Healy at 877-532-8651 or amanda.healy@africanchildrenschoir.com.