Student Press of Braden River High School

Musicians unite for migrant children

Award-winning artists support separated families through benefit album.

The horrifying images of children being ripped from the arms of their loved ones pushed several popular musicians to create an album benefiting children separated from their families at the Mexican-United States border. The album “Singing You Home — Children’s Songs for Family Reunification” called upon musicians to provide their talents and dedicate their time to each song. According to Ghostlight Records (the record label who produced the album), everyone was hired to ensure that a substantial portion of the proceeds from the album will go directly to nonprofit organizations working to reunite and support separated families and migrant minors.

“RAICES is humbled to be chosen as the recipient of this tremendous push of support,” Jonathan Ryan, executive director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, said.  “Every day we fight for a world where our clients feel safe and welcome.”

Video courtesy of RAICES.

Students at the River are supportive of the new album.

“I think it’s definitely leading toward more acceptance in the community,” freshman Sheri Benson said. “Musical people and people interested in art are typically very accepting and open-minded on a regular basis, but maybe if it could spread more, I think it definitely has a good path for more acceptance. Alternatively, I think that there are people who are not getting all the information, so I don’t know if all of them will be very understanding, but maybe, if they keep an open mind, can enjoy it as much as everyone else.”

The album, released Oc. 26, was Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti’s idea. She brought this to life alongside producers Lynn Pinto and Mary Mitchell Campbell. The album also spotlights many Broadway veterans, including Kristin Chenoweth, Cynthia Erivo, Audra McDonald and Jason Robert Brown. Backup vocals were provided by the Broadway Baby Mamas, an ensemble of working mothers who double as actresses.  

“I think it is a good thing to get out to the people who don’t know much about this,” freshman Audrey Hauck said. “I think this is also a great medium of communication because I think it will reach more people than if someone were to just say something on the street. I definitely support this album.”

The album features a mix of English and Spanish-language songs, including Miranda partnering with actress Mandy Gonzalez for a rendition of the traditional Mexican song “Cielito Lindo”. Elsewhere, Groban and Menzel duet on a new version of a former 2006 track, “Lullaby”, while Ingrid Michaelson and Ana Villafañe combine for a new rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle”.

Art courtesy of Ryan Ratelle. Modifications by Sean Peabody.

“It sounds like a good thing,” freshman Anderson Lugo said.  “Families need this. The album is so sweet. It is very considerate to kids who don’t speak English because it’s a bilingual album. On the other hand, I just hate how they are treating families. It’s just horrible. I’m glad they released this album.”

On Twitter, Benanti said she has “never been more proud of a project.”

Feature photo courtesy of Ryan Ratelle.

Written by

Cara Bailey is a freshman at the River. In her free time, she plays flute in the Marching Band of Pirates and plays with her two dogs. She enjoys swimming and reading in her free time, however, she is mostly found working on homework or studying. She is originally from Massachusetts and hopes to one day practice law.

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