This screen capture from the We Are South Dakota Virtual Choir video shows a number of children singing in Lakota.

160 Children’s Voices Sing in Lakota Language Choir Video

Christina Rose
5/2/14

Few things are more beautiful than smiling children singing together. In a masterpiece of editing, the voices of 160 children, many of whom have never met, come together in a video by the We Are South Dakota Virtual Choir.

The video begins with all of the children singing in Lakota: “Wahnunka oganuka inchante, he sapa,” which means “The center of everything that is, the Black Hills.” Not all of the children are Lakota, which Michael Hill, one of the organizers of the choir and Orlando Chamber Soloist, said makes the video “stand as a positive representation of the youth of South Dakota and a message to the world of peace and harmony.”

“It’s a great clash of traditional drums and classical music, which brings the worlds together,” Sequoia Crosswhite, Cheyenne River, cultural relations and language advisor at the Black Hills Children’s Home, said. “It’s really nice, and the kids are very proud of it. I think it opened their eyes to something they might want to do in the future.”

The children range in age from 2 to 18 and come from the General Beadle Community School, Rapid City, and programs such as the Sue Ann Big Crow Boys and Girls Clubs in Pine Ridge, and Ateyapi Mentoring and Girls, Inc. in Rapid City. Other groups participated from the towns of Lead, Deadwood, Sturgis, and more.

Crosswhite said he helped out on the video with the Lakota language pronunciation, and that the children enjoyed participating. “There were some children who were shy at the microphone, and some you couldn’t get the mic away from,” he chuckled.

One young boy learns how to put the microphone to good use for the We Are South Dakota Virtual Choir. (Orlando Chamber Soloists)

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