Singers in Accord and J.D. Steele proudly present:

 Ignite the Spirit ~ Realize the Dream

  Saturday - February 12, 2011 at The O'Shaughnessy

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Singers in Accord and the

MacPhail Community Youth Choir

and Suzuki String Ensemble

will perform under the dynamic direction of J.D. Steele in a heartwarming benefit concert for

Shangilia Foundation USA (SFUSA). 


Spirits will be moved by J.D.'s stirring arrangements of spirituals, folksongs and African chants, sending empowering messages of peace, love and hope through the power of the performing arts!


Ticket proceeds and donations gathered at the concert will help SFUSA's effort to build a new rescue center to for orphaned children living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. 

 View our videos on YouTube

Watch this short video about Shangilia!


Don't miss this inspiring performance! Limited tickets will be available at the door, so CLICK HERE to order your tickets online today or call Singers in Accord at 612.597.5483.



Photo by Micocci Productions LLC.

Tumshangilieni (Swahili for Let Us Rejoice - known simply to the world as "Shangilia") is a child rescue and support center and residence, presently located in Nairobi's Kangemi slum. It is the last hope for some of Kenya's neediest youth and is unique in its commitment to the performing arts, which is at the core of its child rehabilitation philosophy and process.  At the center, each child's needs and aptitudes are addressed individually and each learns performing arts along with classic schooling.  It is also home to the Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya, founded and directed by J.D. Steele.

The "Shangilia model" has become the subject of study by academics and other child-support institutions throughout East Africa. Shangilia Foundation USA (SFUSA) channels contributed support from the U.S. to Tumshangilieni and provides advisory and emotional support to the incredible work done by the center's staff who tend to Kenya's future every day of the year.  Central to SFUSA's mission is support, use and training in the performing arts. 

J.D. SteeleJ.D. Steele
J.D. Steele is closely involved with Shangilia as the founder and Artistic Director of the Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya.  The group debuted in Kenya in 2005 and has toured internationally with J.D. including a 2010 performance at the Flint Hills International Children's Festival in St. Paul, MN.


J.D. and his dynamic, musical siblings, "The Steeles" have been a fixture in the Minnesota music scene since the mid-1980s, touring internationally and garnering countless major music awards and accolades. J.D. began his career singing and arranging jingles for local and national clients including Kodak and Target.  Through the years, J.D. has produced, performed on, and recorded countless albums and has established himself as a sought-after songwriter and composer.  He has been commissioned on ten original musicals and was honored with a Bush Artists Composer Fellowship in 2003. 


Working with students is a passion for J.D.  He has developed and taught music curricula across the U.S. with K-12 students as well as university music programs.  He also currently directs the MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC) bringing together youth in grades 9-12 from throughout the Twin Cities area for music and friendship.  The group is open to students of all skill levels and performs many styles of music including jazz, gospel, pop and East African.  MCYC performed with the Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya at the Flint Hills International Children's Festival in June of 2010 and most recently was honored to perform at the inauguration of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. 

Singers in Accord - ParkThink Globally, Sing Locally 
Singers in Accord seeks collaborations with artists and ensembles that will not only enhance the cultural life of our community, but will also leave a lasting impact on both the audience and the performers. Its mission includes reaching out to local youth choirs, providing educational and performance opportunities with top notch directors that they might not have had otherwise.
"We are thrilled to be performing this wonderful benefit concert for Shangilia Foundation USA," says Dan Digre, President of Singers in Accord.  "The mission of Singers in Accord is to enrich the cultural life of our community through outreach, education and innovative performances of choral music.  As we become more aware that we live in a global community, we are continually challenged to 'think globally and act locally.'  The combined energy and passion of J.D. Steele, Singers in Accord and the youth ensembles from MacPhail make this extraordinary collaboration a wonderful demonstration of our mission in the community." 
"Ignite the Spirit, Realize the Dream"
7:30 p.m. - Saturday, February 12, 2011

at The O'Shaughnessy (St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN)
Tickets: $15/Student; $25/General Admission; $50/Reserved

To order tickets, please visit: or call 612.597.5483