Haitian choir update

Students at the Ouanaminthe school greeted Alltech employees with songs when they arrived at the school on Aug. 4. Photo by Rich Copley | LexGo.com

Students at the Centre Educatif l'Union des Coeurs in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, greeted Alltech employees with songs when they arrived at the school on Aug. 4. Photo by Rich Copley | LexGo.com

Plans are moving forward to bring in a choir of children from a school in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, to sing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and around Central Kentucky during the event.

Earlier this year, Alltech and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre began formulating plans to develop a children’s choir in Ouanaminthe, a town in Northern Haiti on the boarder with the Dominican Republic, where Alltech is setting up a factory. Two University of Kentucky graduate students in voice, Eric Brown and Manuel Castillo, have been working to get the children ready.

One of the main issues to be worked out when we visited Ouanaminthe last month was passports for the children and their chaperons. According to Alltech founder and president Pearse Lyons, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was instrumental in securing visas for the participants.

The choir’s marquee event will be a performance with The Chieftains at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Singletary Center for the Arts. This concert will be a benefit for Haitian Harmony, the Alltech-UK program aiming to make the choir a going concern akin to the African Children’s Choir and build up the school’s academic programs. Currently, the school ends in sixth grade. Lyons and others hope to eventually expand it through 12th grade.

While in Kentucky, Lyons says there are plans for other performances by the Haitian children.

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