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Sweet Honey in the Rock Residency: January 21-23, 2009

Formed in the spirit of their idols Sweet Honey in the Rock, Dartmouth a cappella group The Rockapellas participated in a once-in-a-lifetime exchange with the legendary vocalists. The Rockapellas performed two songs for the women of Sweet Honey and engaged in deep conversations about music (the power of songwriting/need to learn the history of the music in one's repertoire) and politics (the Civil Rights Movement/impact of President Obama's inauguration just a few days prior). The session concluded with a West African chant taught by Sweet Honey's Ysaye Barnwell and the Rockapellas' take on Sweet Honey's "Ella's Song".

Photos by Kawakahi Amina '09


Dr. Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock conducted more than 200 community voices during a Power of Song workshop in Rollins Chapel. Under Barnwell's graceful instruction, the diverse group of strangers (many who were not trained singers) joined together to raise their voices and make a truly joyful noise. The workshop included a number of Civil Rights-era songs and spirituals aimed to create a sense of community through song. "I like to think of music as coalition-building," said Barnwell. "When we raise our voices with other people the result is greater than the sum of its parts."

Photos by Kawakahi Amina '09