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Haitian Boys Choir Visits D.C., Performs To Help Fix Their School

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Members of the boys choir of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Haiti will perform at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. 
Courtesy of Les Petits Chanteurs
Members of the boys choir of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Haiti will perform at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. 

The renowned boys choir of Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Haiti will sing today at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art. They are touring to raise money to help rebuild their school, which was destroyed by an earthquake nearly two years ago.

They call themselves Les Petits Chanteurs or, in English  The Little Singers. That's what the boys did in order to cope with the disaster in their home country: they sang, says Dr. Richard Kurin of the Smithsonian, who worked on recovery efforts in the aftermath of the quake, says 

"So you're there without shelter, without food and water. You've lost friends, neighbors and family. What keeps you going?" Kurin says. "It was song that got them through the night." 

Nearly two years later, they are still singing. To further inspire them, the Museum of African Art's will restore artwork that once adorned the school's walls, according to the museum's director, Dr. Johnetta Cole. 

"Because my eyes saw where those boys used to go to school. I had to, with great care, step over rubble and look at a destroyed structure that used to be a place of such beauty and spirituality and renewal for young Haitian boys," Cole says. 

The choir performs with a string ensemble today at noon. 

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