Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, June 25, 2018

songforhaiti0610-31fA variety of chorales, choirs and orchestras and dancers stretches across the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford on June 6  for "Song for Haiti," a concert to raise money to support the rebuilding of the New Victorian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was destroyed by the earthquake there in January. (Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer. This and additional photos may be found in a gallery at

HARTFORD – More than 1,000 music-lovers were on hand at the Cathedral of St. Joseph on June 6 for a benefit concert that included artists from chorales, choirs, orchestras and dance ensembles, all dedicating their time and talent to help rebuild a school in Haiti.

The concert was a fund-raiser to support the rebuilding of the New Victorian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Romel Joseph, a survivor of the devastating earthquake in Haiti and executive director of New Victorian School, was on hand for the concert. His story has been aired on National Public Radio.

Mr. Joseph and his wife were inside the school at the time of the earthquake. It collapsed, killing Mr. Joseph’s wife and their unborn child. Mr. Joseph, who is blind, survived in the rubble for 18 hours, and suffered significant injuries to his left hand and both legs. After being rescued, he was taken to a hospital in Miami, where he continues to undergo restorative surgeries.

Mr. Joseph has vowed to rebuild the school, which includes a conservatory for young musicians. During the concert, Mr. Joseph was honored by the reading of a declaration from Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell proclaiming June 6, 2010, Romel Joseph Day.

Dr. Ezequiel Menendez, music director at the cathedral, chaired the concert.

The performers were from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Chorale, CONCORA, Voce, New Britain Chorale, Cathedral Choir of St Joseph, Center Church Choir, Asylum Hill Congregational Church Choir, South Church Chancel Choir, Hartt School Community Division and Spectrum in Motion Dance Ensemble.

The centerpiece of the concert was Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 ("Ode to Joy").

William Boughton and Edward Cumming conducted. Richard Coffey was chorusmaster.