Singing Her Way into the U.S. Embassy
SÃO DOMINGOS, Cape Verde—A group from the famed Berklee College of Music visited Ana and her choir at her high school last year. Impressed by her talent, they invited Ana to perform with them at a major international jazz festival in Cape Verde.
Ana didn’t disappoint. They group was so impressed with the 17-year-old that they invited her to perform with them again, this time at a party hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Cape Verde. According to eyewitnesses, the audience was spellbound by Ana’s performance.
Ana, a high school senior, has grown up at the SOS Village in São Domingos, Cape Verde—a small island nation located off the coast of West Africa—since 2003.
Before moving to the SOS Village, Ana’s parents had separated; her father then married another woman and left Ana’s mother and her eight children to fend for themselves. Her mother had no job and relied on donations from neighbors to feed her family. Ana and her younger sister, 14 and now also at the SOS Village, lived with their siblings and mother in a dilapidated house without electricity, a kitchen or bathroom before they joined their SOS Family.
Ana said she is in regular contact with her biological family, and they give her support to achieve her dream of becoming a musician.
Ana is a member of the choir at the SOS Village in São Domingos and a vocalist in her school choir. The delegation from the Berklee College of Music held a workshop with her and her fellow choir members.
“During the music workshop and skill-share, the experts heard Ana’s voice while she was performing and immediately invited her to a joint performance at one of the major international festivals here in Cape Verde, the Kriol Jazz Festival,” said Graça Evodia, the national communications coordinator at SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde.
After that, Ana was invited to perform at the U.S. Embassy, which earned her a spot on national television.
“SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde was contacted by the national television, TCV, to interview Ana for Revista, a cultural program that highlights great talent at national level,” said Graça.
The events were a boost to Ana’s dreams of becoming a singer.
“I know I can. I know I’ll achieve it. I know I’ll get there,” she said.
At the moment, Ana coordinates the choral group at SOS Children’s Village São Domingos and the group has participated in several national concerts. Last summer, the group performed at a gala event, named I Can Help.
*Child’s name changed for privacy reasons
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