Portland’s multinational all-girls Pihcintu Chorus, which has earned national aplomb through appearances at the famed Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and on NBC’s Today show, among other places, contributed to a project in which musicians around the world performed parts of a benefit song released in tribute to slain British politician Jo Cox.
Among those who participated were the musicians of the three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy.
Cox, an outspoken advocate for humanitarian causes, was murdered over her political views one year ago today by a man with neo-Nazi ties.
The song lyrics feature a quotation from Cox and aims to raise money for Musicians Without Borders, Music Action International and Amnesty International.
Watch the music video below:
The Pihcintu Chorus appears at the 2:22 and 4:30 marks. Pihcintu, which means “When she sings, her voice carries far,” is an all-girls chorus which features refugees from Cambodia, China, Congo, El Salvador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, West Indies and Zambia.
Most of the singers attend Portland Public Schools, by far the most diverse school department in Maine, and where students speak as many as 60 different languages.
Speaking with Today show correspondent and former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager, chorus organizer Con Fullam said: “I think when you come to a new country, one of the first things that happens is you lose your voice.”
One of the singers then explained why the chorus is important, given that threat of isolation in a new country, telling Hager: “When all of us sing, you can hear everyone’s voice.”