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Dr. Lyons wanted to raise world awareness of Haiti’s economic plight and its challenges; challenges that will remain long after the rubble from the earthquake is cleared away. He envisioned a choir of Haitian school children similar to The African Children’s Choir, performing during the opening ceremonies of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010. This performance would allow the sounds of Haiti to be heard by an international audience to raise awareness of the Haitian story.
Eric Brown, the first winner of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, selected and trained these children. Alltech was inspired by El Sistema, the music program founded by José Antonio Abreu in Venezuela in the 1970s that served to teach music to underprivileged youth. El Sistema is responsible for the development of 200 orchestras across Venezuela, some of which now perform internationally and have introduced world-renowned musicians, such as conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
Their first stop was a performance at a benefit concert with Irish Music Giants and six-time Grammy Award winners, The Chieftains, at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts on 4th October 2010.