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Harwin choir sings at Amnesty International event

The Harwin Elementary School Leadership Choir lent their voices to a humanitarian cause this week.

The choir, featuring music teacher Trina Chivilo and with additional vocals by SD 57 Fine Arts resource teacher Julie Fisher and Harwin staff member Tom Makowsky, sang at an Amnesty International Declaration of Human Rights Celebration on the evening of Dec. 10 at Artspace. The date was significant because it marked the 71st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Harwin choir first performed at the event in 2017 after members of the local Amnesty International committee contacted Chivilo.

This year, the choir did four songs. The first two were Linda McRae’s Be Your Own Light and an edited version of Dan Mangan’s Robots. Next came a song called Newtown, a Chivilo original inspired by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. The choir wrapped up the set with a version of Greg Holden’s The Lost Boy.

The audience appreciated the efforts of the students and applauded warmly after each song.

“We haven’t had a lot of experience,” Chivilo said. “It’s always a new choir – I have continuous intake, typically, but we have some anchors and we have some kids that just really love to sing. We tried to share what we feel, through music.

“Everything is a learning experience, and that’s performing too.”