Welcome to the Village!
Hundreds of Children from New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Kenya
Sing Together as the One World Chorus
Portland, OR, June 1, 2012 – Aaron Nigel Smith, known for his work on PBS TV and his award-winning music for children, will release Welcome to the Village!, a globe-shrinking collection of songs featuring the voices of hundreds of children from New York, Los Angeles, Portland and a school near Nairobi, Kenya. Now, kids at home may sing along with the international voices of Welcome to the Village!, which will be available on September 7th. A portion of proceeds from the sale of the CD will help build a music program at the Cura Rotary Home, an orphanage and school in Kenya.
Nearly a year in the making, Welcome to the Village includes 13 songs, including “Fanga Alafia,” traditional Nigerian morning greeting song, performed by children at Cura. Aaron spent time at the orphanage in February working with the children and recording this and other vocal tracks for the album. Aaron mixed these children’s angelic voices with those of kids he’s worked with at the Palisades Children’s Choir near Los Angeles, the Achievement First Academy in Brooklyn, NY, and 5th graders from Forest Hills Elementary School (near Portland, Oregon) as well as 45 children from the greater Portland area. All in all, more than 300 voices are included in the collection of songs.
Aaron also invited notable children’s music stars to join in song. Dan Zanes performs on “Grateful,” and for Bob Dylan’s classic “Man Gave Names,” three artists lent their talents: Nickelodeon TV star Laurie Berkner and nationally acclaimed kindie rockers Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Lucky Diaz.
As a measure of the public support for the One World Chorus project, last year’s Kickstarter campaign aimed to raise $15,000, but brought in nearly $20,000 within four weeks. The funds support travel and the CD production. Volkswagon has also signed on as a title sponsor of the project.
Smith has worked with children’s choirs for many years, in addition to touring with his band and performing on the PBS-TV show “Between the Lions.” With the One World Chorus project, he hopes to make the world a little smaller. “When kids sing together, I hope that they enjoy sharing the gift of music and learning a valuable discipline that can be used to promote positive change in the world,” he explains. “It’s great to see the light in kids’ eyes as they realize just how many other kids are participating in the project.”