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Berklee College of Music Community Sings

Location: Old South Church Boston (Mary Horton Hall) 645 Boylston St. Boston MA

Open to public. Free.

There is an awesome power in the human voice and when uncommon voices are

blended for the common good, they become a 'vocal community' at its best. Masterfully

led by Dr. Ysaÿe M. Barnwell, singers and non-singers alike will share the common

experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, traditional

songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American

culture including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the Civil Rights

Movement. The historical, social and political context will provided as an introduction

to the songs. Throughout this experience, the group will explore from an African

American worldview, the values imbedded in the music, the role of cultural and spiritual

traditions and rituals, ways in which leadership emerges and can be shared by and

among community members, the nature of cultural responses to and influences on

political and social struggle, and finally the significance of a shared communal

experience in ones' personal life. All that is required is a willingness to sing.