Chicago Children's Choir prepares for Black History Month concert

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Children's Choir is preparing for a special Black History Month concert, which will be held virtually.

Called "Preserving and Persevering," the concert celebrates the legacy of the ancestors.

"Our inspiration in this is like we know this is the music that has allowed us to persevere in the face of racial injustice and our kids have to be equipped with this," said Lonnie Norwood, CCC Director of African Diasporic Music and Studies.

The world-renowned choir has been training virtually since September, but in the past few weeks the emphasis has been on learning the origins and history of Black music.

"We've gone through presentations. We've had lessons. We've had people come in and teach us about different cultures and experiences. So it's helped me personally to get more of an understanding of what I'm singing and where it's coming from," said Diondre Dunigan, member of Chicago Children's Choir.

The hour-long concert will feature the choir joined by a host of musical stars and will include world premiere of collaborations with Grammy winners Lisa Fischer and the quintet Ranky Tanky. It will embody the lessons they've learned during Black History Month.

"You have the voice and you have the power because these are the people who've laid the groundwork for you and showed you the roadmap of how to do this," said Norwood.

"I feel like I've grown so much this month alone as a musician, it's incredible," Dunigan said. "Seeing all the younger kids just singing and being themselves and expressing through the medium of Black history and Black music. It really impressed me and made me more hopeful for the youth of the future."

"Preserving and Persevering" will also feature the choir's performances with Chance The Rapper, Bobby McFerrin and Cynthia Erivo. It will be live-streamed on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m. on the Chicago Children's Choir's Facebook and YouTube channels.
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