Port Au Prince, Haiti, 2010. June Willliams’ entire life changed when the massive earthquake hit.
“Our apartment building fell on us – my two daughters and I,” she remembers. “Five stories came down on us.”
After the family was medevaced to Connecticut, Williams began to find peace through harmony.
“Music was the only thing that was moving me forward,” she says.
Ironically, she met Carol Taubl and her sons, founding members of Sound Affect, a musical group that tackles social justice issues with lyrics and tunes.
Williams said, “Haiti needs to hear your music.” So, the group first traveled to the country in 2011 and has been making the trip once a year ever since.
“What Haiti had lost after the earthquake was that notion that there was hope still it was just so devastating,” says Carol. “We sang for high schools and children and orphanages and it was this light they’d been hungry for and we were so inspired.”
“It expands us musically as well, we come back with a greater knowledge of world music,” says Sam Taubl.
“Being able to interact with people who don’t come from the same background as you is a really great experience to have,” adds James Taubl.
“We all come home better people,” says Carol, who brings these life lessons back to her young students in New Haven. “The parents are grateful this is a message want to give to our children.”
“This nice smooth beautiful stone in a heart shape is actually rubble from the earthquake,” says June, noting that the trips resemble the stone, as beauty is emerging from tragedy through the universal language of song. “That bonds you – there’s a kinship, a strength, a sense I can do this, I can move forward we can do this together.”
In early January, Sound Affect faced all sorts of problems coming home due to the snow storm and flood at JFK Airport. But Taubl says the trip was worth it and the mission will continue.