September 21, 2013

Haitian Boys' Choir to perform at St. Ann's - By Elizabeth Richards

On Friday, September 27th, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church will present a concert by Les Petits Chanteurs, a 30-voice boys’ choir and seven piece string ensemble from Haiti. Two weeks ago, St. Ann’s learned that the group from Port-au-Prince, Haiti was touring the United States. They were scheduled to perform at a church in Newcastle, Maine. Knowing of a partnership between St. Barnabus church in Treille, Haiti, and St. Ann’s, members from the Newcastle congregation called to try to set up another concert, said Wendy Rozene, a deacon at St. Ann’s. The concert will include choral and instrumental works of Haitian folk and sacred music.

Les Petits Chanteurs is the boys’ choir of Holy Trinity Music School of the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion in Port-au-Prince. The choir was founded in 1960 by Episcopalian priest Reverend Barry Borrows. It is now under the direction of former student and member of the choir Jean-Bernard Desinat. Boys may join the choir by audition at age 7, and students come from elementary schools throughout the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Les Petits Chanteurs has toured in the United States several times since their first visit in 1984.

Admission to the show is by a free will offering. The concert is a fundraiser, said Rozene, with the money going towards rebuilding the music school which was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “They are in temporary structures right now, after the earthquake, which means that they have a roof over their head, but no walls on the side,” she said. “It’s a fresh air school.”

Rozene had an opportunity to see the group perform in Haiti last April. “They have wonderful voices. They’re just outstanding,” she said. “They are very gifted musicians.” The singers and their ensemble will be hosted in the homes of members of the St. Ann’s congregation, and there will be a potluck supper for the group on Friday night, as well as a breakfast Saturday morning. The choir has a very full weekend schedule, with the performance on Friday evening at St. Ann’s, performances in Newcastle on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday in church, and a Sunday evening performance in York.

The concert at St. Ann’s is Friday, September 27th at 7 pm. Admission is by offering. All are welcome.

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