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. Through out this experience, the group will explore from an African American world view, 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. 

NOTE: Workshops can vary in length from 3 hours to 5 days, and can be designed for performing artists, choirs, organizations, corporations, trainers, therapists and / or students.  

Please e-mail me regarding fees.

A community sing is an opportunity for anyone who wants to sing with other people to come and do just that for 2 hours. 

They are conducted in the “oral tradition” so you don’t have to read music or have any musical training.  We begin in a fun easy way and in two hours we become a choir of uncommon voices singing in 4 to 6 part harmony and raising the roof.

Community Sings are held monthly at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC.