Classical stars, Haitian kids unite for benefit 

click to enlarge Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Choral students from Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School will sing in San Francisco at Wednesday’s star-studded benefit concert at Grace Cathedral.
“Sing With Haiti” may well be the most star-studded benefit concert and gala reception of the Bay Area music season.

Organized to raise money to help rebuild Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School, which was destroyed in the island’s devastating 2010 earthquake, Wednesday’s show at Grace Cathedral is the answer to a classical music lover's prayers.

Hosted by dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt, it also features sopranos Kiera Duffy and Laquita Mitchell; great mezzo-soprano Susan Graham; tenor Nicholas Phan (fast becoming one of America's premier interpreters of Britten songs); Bishop Yvette Flunder; pianist-composer and Bay Area treasure Jake Heggie; and conductor Donato Cabrera leading an orchestra made up of San Francisco Conservatory and Haitian music students as well as members of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra.

For 53 years, Holy Trinity Music School has served the children of Haiti. Even after the quake, nearly 1,200 students from all economic brackets flock to the wrecked Episcopal Church compound that houses the school, where they play instruments outdoors or in tents, still surrounded by rubble.

“This school is not just educating future musicians; it’s educating the future leaders of Haiti,” says Owsley Brown III, a documentary filmmaker who has spearheaded the benefit. “When I walked around the facility, I discovered how many healthy human beings there are there. They’re really clearly smart, healthy, open, loving and kind people who are working and playing together. ... Not all are aspiring to be professional musicians, but the aspiration is to have music as an integral part of their lives.”

The school’s two acclaimed youth choirs, Les Petits Chanteurs & La Chorale des Fillettes, also will perform Wednesday, as well as Clerestory and choral groups from 10 Bay Area public and private schools.


Sing With Haiti

Where: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Tickets: $25 to $50

Contact: (800) 745-3000,,

About The Author

Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus is a music and high performance audio critic, whistler, and lecturer on opera and vocal recordings. He is editor of Psychoimmunity and the Healing Process: A Holistic Approach to Immunity & AIDS. In addition to writing for the San Francisco Examiner, he has written about music for Opera News,... more
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