The accomplished University of Zululand (UNIZULU) Choir is getting ready to take on the world, with 15 members of the choir set to tour America next month. The 20-day tour which will see the choir touring various American states will culminate in the choir performing at the White House on September 20. It is expected that President Barrack Obama will be in attendance during that performance. UNIZULU Choirmaster Bhekani Buthelezi said the tour came about as a result of the University of Zululand’s partnership with Appalachian State University based in North Caroline. “This partnership started (between the two universities) started 20 years ago. However the vice-chancellor Professor Mtose has been very instrumental in ensuring that the partnership was kept alive,” Buthelezi said. Only 14 members of the choir could be selected for the trip. Buthelezi said members were selected based on their singing, ability, seniority in the choir and the way they conduct themselves. “We had to take into consideration the way that members carry themselves because we do not want to take people who are going to misrepresent the university”. The choir would leave on September 3, and will start by performing 3 concerts in collaboration with Appalachian State University. Buthelezi said the UNIZULU choir would get a chance to work with lecturers of the North Caroline who have worked with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim amongst others. “They will also get a chance to see the studio in which the likes of Celine Dion and Westlife have recorded in”. After that the choir will tour other parts of the US, including Chicago and Washington DC, with renowned producer Miles Comiskey. The tour will see the choir giving workshops on South Africa music. Buthelezi said the members of the choir were so excited with the trip that some of them found it hard even to concentrate now that everything is confirmed. However, the focus is now of fundraising for the trip. “What has been very encouraging is to see every member of the choir coming through and immersing themselves in this fundraising drive. Even those who are not going to be part of the trip are helping to fundraise”.The final fundraiser would be in a form of a lunchtime concert to be held at the University’s Chapel on the September 2, a day before members are said to depart for the US. Buthelezi urged all those who would like to contribute financially to come to the Chapel on the day or to contact the choir through the Communications and Marketing Division. Njabulo Nxumalo, a Master’s student in Development Studies, said he was overjoyed at the opportunity especially as it will be his first time being outside of the country.