He gyrated and twisted, belted show tunes and humbly thanked the small audience of friends and family for their attendance before interrupting the concert to apologize for “technical difficulties.”
Still, shouts of “Yeah, Harry,” and “You can do it,” rose above the interludes.
Harut flashed to a message from First Lady Michelle Obama imploring Americans to give generously to a country that even before the earthquake was mired in dysfunction.
Having performed about 10 concerts over three years, he and his friends wanted to pitch in.
“When I heard about the earthquake, I knew that I had to do something to help,” he said, adding later, “Please give whatever you can.”
The group, which performs under the HK Concerts moniker, pledged to donate 100% of the contributions to the American Red Cross.
They added their efforts to the thousands of schools, churches and nonprofits who around the world have raised millions for the cause.
“I am so proud of Harut and his group of singers for having the courage to put this together,” said Emily Rogers, who teaches French at Hoover High School. “It’s not easy to do this kind of thing, but it is such an important lesson for all of us to see young people stepping up to the plate where there’s been a tragedy like this.”
Rogers alluded to the massive U.S.-led international relief operation, which itself has struggled to help injured and hungry survivors.
“I want us to think about the children, especially of Haiti, when we listen to these singers,” she said. “Ninety percent of the schools in Haiti’s capital have been destroyed, and any effort that we can do to help these people will be so appreciated.”