Classically trained at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Keisha Hutchins has been exploring, blending, and bending genres from Carnegie Hall to the clubs of Philadelphia.  In addition to her first group, the trip-hop electronic artists Vanishing Peoples of the Earth, the soprano has performed with the Philadelphia Singers and the former resident choir of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has collaborated with artists as diverse as hip-hop producer Justin Gilmore of KRU records, dance music producer and DJ MacGuyver, New York composer Andrew Shapiro, and New Orleans composer and trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe. 

A graduate of Germantown Friends School, Hutchins is a former recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change grant for women who use their art to create social change. 

A music educator, currently serving as the Lower School Music Teacher at Abington Friends School, Hutchins resides in Philadelphia with her husband, drummer, composer and educator, Doug Hirlinger, and their two daughters.


We Are Bound
Keisha Hutchins

Letter #77 4/6/17-Karma Lekshe Tsomo

“All happiness comes from cherishing others
All misery comes from cherishing oneself”

One need not be a world leader to put this Buddhist wisdom into practice. My experience teaching meditation in U.S. prisons over the years has shown that those who are incarcerated also respond well to meditations on compassion, especially when the practice of generating compassion develops gradually, starting with oneself.


Letter #1 1/20/21-Andrea Weiss

Be strong and be of good courage
Be strong and courageous
Be strong and cause your heart to be resilient

Be courageous. Be kind. Be hopeful about your ability to bring about a better world.


Letter #4 1/23/21-Marc Z. Brettler

“After justice, after justice, must you chase”

“.. you must act justly time after time, whether it is to your advantage or disadvantage. The word I translated as “chase” is often incorrectly rendered less forcefully as “follow” or “pursue”—but it is a very physical “running” word. You do, and should, get tired from such sprinting—but it is essential to keep running after justice and to call out and to redress injustice, wherever you may find it.

Shalom=“Wholeness”

“….to chase justice and to love the truth, supporting the well-being and peace for all of us. “

Verse 1

I woke up breathless, in my dream we were runnin
Chasing something that can’t be denied
And I thought in that moment I was glad you were with me
Cause I knew this chase could change the tide

You said, 
Be Courageous, Be strong
But most of all be kind
You stood beside me
And that moment
Your freedom was bound up in mine

Chorus

We are bound
Bound up in you
Bound up in me

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound
Bound up in me
Bound up in you

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound

 

Verse 2

After justice, after justice we must chase
If we are to ever survive this place
By cherishing you I am cherishing me
And all of your love has helped me to see

I must break open my heart
You break open yours, too
What once started with me
Now ends with you
Now ends with you

Chorus
We are bound
Bound up in you
Bound up in me

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound
Bound up in me
Bound up in you

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound

 

Verse 3

So let’s make this promise
Get down on our knees
Keep runnin’ towards justice
Til we can barely breathe

And when you get tired 
I’ll run for you
And I know that you will run for me, too

I’ll break open my heart
You break open yours, too
What once started with me
Now ends with you
Now ends with you

Chorus
We are bound
Bound up in you
Bound up in me

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound
Bound up in me
Bound up in you

We are bound
Born of one truth
That sets us free

We are bound


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Spencer Skelly