Labor Choir: Pittsburgh's People of the Year 2022 in Music

click to enlarge Labor Choir: Pittsburgh's People of the Year 2022 in Music
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

At most Pittsburgh protests, picket lines, and rallies — really wherever a morale boost would be helpful — you can find the Pittsburgh Labor Choir belting out tunes like “We Shall Not Be Moved” and “Solidarity Forever.” It’s all about hyping up protesters — and not being scared to reach for that high note.

“We’re keenly aware of how uplifting it can be to do music just as amateurs and friends,” says choir founder Edwin Everheart. “It’s not about being good. It’s just about having fun with it and being expressive.”

Everheart founded the choir in February 2020 after seeing a need for enlivening songs and chants in protests. It’s a fitting endeavor for Pittsburgh, the site of historical steel worker labor struggles and, more recently, union strikes at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, La Prima, and Carnegie Museums, protests for which featured the choir.

Pittsburgh Labor Choir consists of approximately 20 members, a mix of amateurs and trained singers, who fire up as many protests in the city as possible with high-energy choral songs. The group meets for practice at the Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House in Shadyside, where it sings a mix of traditional union songs and contemporary international and English-language creations (a pro-union themed “Twelve Days of Christmas” is in the works).

As more and more workers in Pittsburgh demand fairer labor rights, you can expect the choir to be right alongside them, singing in solidarity.

Pittsburgh Labor Choir.