Thirty young ambassadors will remind a Washington, D.C. audience of the enduring spirit—and struggle—of the Haitian people three years after an earthquake devastated the impoverished country.

Les Petits Chanteurs, or The Little Singers, the renowned boys’ choir of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Music School of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will be featured in concert at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art on Sept. 13.

The group, comprised of singers ranging from 8 to 18 years old, returns to the museum after a visit last year. Over the years, ensembles from Holy Trinity Music School have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at Lincoln Center in New York City, at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with the Chicago Children’s Choir and at more than 90 churches across the United States.

“We are delighted to welcome back to the Smithsonian, and especially to our museum, this wonderfully talented group of boys and young men,” Johnnetta Betsch Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art, said in a statement. “At our museum we are committed to supporting connections with the African Diaspora, and we will continue to do what we can to keep Haiti on the minds of Americans and people all over the world.”

The group’s visit to the museum is part of a U.S. tour designed to spotlight the rich musical traditions of Haiti, but also to raise awareness and support for the rebuilding of the Holy Trinity Music School, which was completely destroyed in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. The school is the only one of its kind in the island nation. Before the quake, it served more than 1,000 students and depended on charitable giving to support that mission.

Since the natural disaster, concerted efforts have been made to preserve Haiti’s lushly diverse heritage. Four months after the earthquake, the Smithsonian spearheaded the creation of the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project in partnership with the U.S. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Haiti’s Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Haitian President’s Commission for Reconstruction, along with many other governmental and non-governmental entities.

“After saving people’s lives, the next to save is people’s reason for living,” Olsen Jean Julien, Haiti’s former Minister of Culture and Communication and manager of the Haiti Cultural Recovery Center, said of the effort.

Les Petits Chanteurs, accompanied by a Chamber ensemble from the Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra, will continue that effort, offering a glimpse of Haitian art and culture in the concert, which will take place in the Smithsonian’s Enid A. Haupt Garden from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about the concert, contact Eddie Burke at (202) 633-4660 or

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO