24 Jan 2009

Kenyan choir signs deal after US performance

1:14 pm on 24 January 2009

An African youth choir has been signed by Universal Music after performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration celebrations in the United States.

The Boys Choir of Kenya signed the deal in a transit lounge at Heathrow Airport as they returned home to Nairobi from Washington DC.

They were the only international choir to sing at the inauguration.

The choir, who are aged between 13 and 24, put on an impromptu performance for passengers before flying on to Kenya.

The BBC reports they have toured the US several times and their performances have raised school fees for their members, as well as helping them take on several orphans.

The Boys Choir was formed in Nairobi in 1998 and expanded to members from outside the Kenyan capital in 2004. They now have 40 singers.

They were asked to sing at several events surrounding the inauguration of President Obama, whose father came from Kenya - although he never managed to see them perform.

Their repertoire includes a wide-ranging number of pieces from traditional Masaai and Samburu chants to contemporary songs from around Africa.