EDI: “Building a Vocal Community®: Singing In The African American Tradition” Ysaye M. Barnwell       

Alumni Hall, Brumbaugh Academic Center
March 7th @ 3 & 7 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies and the Choral Department

Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D., MSPH is a native New Yorker who has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1968. Barnwell studied violin with her father for 15 years, beginning at age two and a half, and majored in music through high school. She went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology from the State University of New York at D.C., in 1967 and 1968. She earned a doctorate in speech pathology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1975, and a master’s of public health from Howard University in 1981. Barnwell has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees, and the 2014 Humanitarian Award from the Washington Choral Arts Society.

Barnwell has served as a professor at the College of Dentistry at Howard University, and administered health programs at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She joined Sweet Honey In The Rock in 1979 and recently retired from the ensemble after 34 years.

Barnwell has been a commissioned composer on numerous choral, film, video, dance, and theatrical projects. She is the curator/composer of the Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem. And, for 30 years, she spent much of her time off-stage working as a master teacher and choral clinician in African-American cultural performance. Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition” has been conducted on three continents.

In May 2016, President Obama nominated Barnwell for membership on the National Committee on the Arts, which the Senate must confirm.