Nou La


for SATB Chorus and Soprano Solo
Duration: 6:30 minutes
Note: It is a breach of copyright law to make more copies than the amount purchased. Please order the number of copies needed for every member of the ensemble, including the conductor and the accompanist.


“Nou La” (We Are Here) was commissioned by the Phoenix Chamber Choir. The organization uses their platform to make a difference and stand with those whose voices who have yet to be heard. Written in 3 languages, the text of “Nou La” was a collaborative effort between Sydney, Frédéricka Petit-Homme and Lloyd Reshard Jr.. After many meaningful conversations, the heart of the text was realized. Lloyd expressed his sentiments, stating: “The English portion of ‘Nou La’ stems from the social, cultural, racial and political unrest that has been stirred during the global Covid-19 pandemic. It was important for me to capture the questioning, the frustration, and the desire welling inside myself and others who feel marginalized.”

Our hope is that “Nou La” compels the listener to confront and wrestle with their own political, cultural, historical, and social stances, particularly when we do not agree or understand one another. We also hope that this work encourages listeners to passionately confront inhumanity as they cultivate empathy and compassion, inspiring the listener to examine their own relationship and actions towards marginalized communities.


Haitian Creole, French and English text:

Koute nou! Tande, tande!  Listen up! Hear our voices!
Nou la! Wi, nou la! (We’re here! Yes, we are here!)
N ap chante! (We are singing!)
Nou tout kanpe! (We are taking a stand!)
Nou kanpe avèk yo! (We stand with them!)

Di mwen, kisa m ye pou ou? Tell me, what am I to you?

If I cross your borders, am I a thief or a profit?
If I do your labor, am I skilled or a nuisance?
If I assimilate your ways, am I an imposter or a brother?
If I serve my time, am I redeemed or rebuked?

Nous témoignons du fantôme de l’esclavage dans sa forme contemporaine.
We witness the ghost of slavery in its contemporary form.

Di mwen poukisa! Tell me why!

Why is it only culture if you observe it?
Why is it only history if you write it?
Why is it only important if you say it?
Why is it only relevant if you are interested?
Why is it only inclusive if you make a profit?

It has to stop! Enough! Enough!

Hear the frustration in our voices.
Feel the heart in our words.
How can you be complacent at the sound of our plight?

March and let the weight of our heels crush inhumanity.
Stomp and let the sound ignite our souls to make a difference.
Let us sing and let our voices bring compassion to the oppressed.

Listen. Understand. Have compassion. Koute. Tande. Pran konsyans.
How can you be complacent at the sound of our plight?

Click Here for a PDF of the complete text Download Word document | 
Click Here for a PDF with the French translation | Download Word document | 



Nou La – recording:
Phoenix Chamber Choir
Frédéricka Petit-Homme, Soloist
Nicholle Andrews, Conductor
Recorded on May 7, 2022 at Pacific Spirit United Church in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Brad Andrews, Audio Engineer


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