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Concert brings Haiti to Farmington

Members of the Union Brothers Singers, all brothers or cousins, were born in Haiti and now are performing to benefit their hometown of Fermate.

Earlier this week Farmington's Faith United Methodist Church sent several of its members on a mission trip to Haiti. On April 30 the church will bring a taste of Haiti to Farmington.

The church will will play host to a concert by the Union Brothers Singers, a group of Haitian-born musicians who perform a capella music in English, French and Creole. Money raised at the concert will go to support people in Fermate, Haiti, the singers' hometown.

Pastor Kevin Fox said the idea for the concert started with church member Jeff Turner, who has been on several mission trips to Haiti. Turner wanted to do something to raise awareness of conditions in Haiti and found the singing group online. He sent a link to Fox, and Fox made the arrangements to bring the group to town.

Fox said the concert is an opportunity to showcase the efforts being made in Farmington to benefit Haiti. Faith Methodist has sent several mission trips to Haiti in recent years. The group that left last weekend was originally scheduled to leave just days after the January earthquake that devastated parts of the country but had to delay because travel at that time was impossible. The River Church has also sent a number of mission trips to Haiti, including one just weeks after the earthquake.

"This is another opportunity for us to say there are opportunities if people want to serve," Fox said.

According to the group's MySpace page the Union Brothers Singers formed in 1997 at the encouragement of pastor Jean David Hyacinte. All the members are cousins or brothers.

One member of the group, Wolf Baptiste, lives in Farmington. Others live elsewhere in the United States and Haiti. They have been touring the country since the earthquake to raise money for their hometown.

"They have been doing quite a few fund raising events in the New York and Connecticut areas," said Sarah Baptiste, tour coordinator for the UBS World Wide Village tour and the wife of Wolf Baptiste.

Most of the songs the Union Brothers Singers perform in Creole are written by the group and all of the songs have a Christian message. They also choreograph dance routines to some of their songs.

"I think it's going to be really a neat learning experience for people," Fox said. "You're going to hear native Haitian people singing in their native language.

"We want to see the sanctuary full of people to hear this concert and learn about Haiti."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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