Bright Morning Stars Are Rising

Whatcom County Soloists and Virtual Choir Present a Message of Hope, Healing and Reconciliation

“Bright Morning Stars Are Rising” is a visually stunning and emotionally arresting six-minute film, released just days after more than five thousand people gathered peacefully on Saturday, June 6 in Bellingham’s Maritime Heritage Park to call for social justice and reform.

The film showcases locally revered singers Ibidunni Ojikutu, JP Falcon Grady, Andy Marshall and Thunderbirds Raised Her, together with a sixty-voice virtual choir, including 26 BUF choir members.

Director Kevin Allen-Schmid says “Bright Morning Stars” is a gorgeous, heart-felt and inspiring song. It is imbued with hope, inspiration and caring for our community.”

The idea for the virtual choir sprang from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Choirs were left stranded,” explains Allen-Schmid. “It became impossible to sing together in person while maintaining a safe social distance, so we put out an appeal for singers all over our county to learn the song at home, and to email us a video of themselves performing it.”

Sixty singers responded, and the resulting film, shows thumbnail videos of each participating singer mixed with iconic mountain, forest and sea imagery from Whatcom County, together with scenes of recent local social justice action, including the June 6 rally.

The film project is in support of the Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County, which provides services for local residents experiencing homelessness. Viewers are encouraged to make a donation to Interfaith Coalition via their website

Allen-Schmid explains, “The pandemic restrictions were stifling us musically when cries for social justice demanded a communal response. The voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color must be heard. The needs of people experiencing homelessness must be addressed. We are thrilled to be a part of creating something beautiful while calling for justice and help for our neighbors in need.”