Send me to South Africa!

by Io Ken


Campaign has ended

    Hi, my name is Io Ken and I am so happy to be a part of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir! As a freshman, it is a huge honor to have been chosen to be a member of such a special group. In our Show Choir family’s 33rd year, we’re traveling to South Africa. We will be performing as well as immersing ourselves in South Africa’s musical cultures. Your financial support will go a long way toward the $4500 that each student needs to raise to make this trip a reality. You can fund an entire trip for one student, or any another amount. We will visit Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town and even Robben’s Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. By supporting this trip, you’re also supporting DC Public Schools. I’m so grateful to enlist your support in this opportunity to go to Africa! 


The highly acclaimed and national award-winning Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir has thrilled audiences throughout the United States, Germany, London, France, Japan and extensively in the Caribbean.  Organized in 1986 under the direction of Samuel L.E. Bonds and currently directed by Dr. Monique Spells, these student artists travel from neighborhoods spanning the entire Washington Metropolitan area to attend Washington’s premier arts-centered high school. 

They have performed at the White House for Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush and in inaugural events for former District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and President Barack Obama. The Show Choir has shared the stage with Earth Wind and Fire, Clay Aiken, Patti LaBelle, Jasmine Guy, Patti Austin, Boyz II Men, and Denyce Graves. The Choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and sang The Star Spangled Banner for the opening of the Washington Nationals first baseball game.

The ensemble’s incredible creativity and artistry so effectively combine singing, acting and dance that any performance space is virtually transformed into a Broadway stage. With an incessant devotion to providing a thrilling, high powered performance to audiences around the world, under the direction of Dr. Monique Spells, the members of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir, much like the great Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, are true ambassadors for the nation and the Ellington School.

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