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Introduction

The Gettin’ Higher Choir is a member of the Ubuntu Choir Network. Ubuntu spirit reminds us that what defines us as individuals is achieved through our relationship with others.

Two relationships have helped The Gettin’ Higher Choir discover who we are: the Kapasseni Project and The Power of Hope. In both cases song has led the way.

In 1998, when we were a much smaller choir singing mostly South African freedom songs, we met members of the Mozambique choir at Victoria’s Inter-Cultural FolkFest. At that time the members of the choir were refugees living in Canada. Through their stories of their home, we began to touch in more deeply with the realities of life in the land where so many of our songs came from. The Mozambicans collaborated with the Gettin’ Higher Choir on our first ever benefit concert for The Power of Hope – then a fledgling organization reaching out to youth through the arts. A few months later, we returned the favour, helping our new friends with a benefit concert to build a school in Kapasseni, their war-torn village in Mozambique.

photo at Kapasseni

Shivon Robinsong in Kapasseni in 2003 (photo by Ben Fox)

Thus began two relationships — one building bridges across generations, the other, across continents, and both have enriched the life of the choir in countless ways. Youth involvement in our Power of Hope benefit concerts keeps us young and in touch with the vibrant free-styling positive hip-hop culture of young people who are making a difference in the world. Through our ongoing involvement with Kapasseni, we have become part of the the healing of Africa, an experience which has immeasurably deepened our experience of singing the songs of that struggling, hopeful continent.