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February 6, 2013

Sweet Honey In The Rock to bid farewell to Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Sweet Honey In The Rock, the venerable and Grammy Award-nominated a cappella ensemble that is currently celebrating its' 39th performance season will bid farewell to one of its' most tenured and revered member's Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, when she officially exits the group the at end of May this year to pursue several of her own career endeavors.

Barnwell's inimitable and distinctive bass tones were added to the DC based a cappella quartet in 1979 after being scouted and invited by the ensemble's founder/ creator Dr. Bernice Reagon. Reagon (who retired in 2004) formed the group in 1973 along with Louise Robinson, Carol Maillard and Mie, while teaching a vocal workshop at the legendary D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company. Both Maillard and Robinson took a sabbatical from the group in 1976, returning in1992 and 2004, respectively. The current line-up comprises Maillard, Barnwell, Robinson, Aisha Kahlil (who joined in 1981), Nitanju Bolade Casel (who joined in 1985) and Shirley Childress Saxton, an American Sign Language interpreter who has been performing ASL with the group since 1981.

"We are very sad to see Ysaye go, " says Carol Maillard, "but we know she's embarking on a wonderful world of projects and accomplishments that she'll undoubtedly achieve. She will always be a part of us and who knows when we might see her on the Sweet Honey stage again!"

"I have loved and deeply appreciated being a part of and contributing to the ensemble and legacy of Sweet Honey over the past 34 years, " stated Barnwell. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at February 6, 2013 12:00 AM