Ysaye M. Barnwell

Born 28 March 1946.

Biography

Ysaye Maria Barnwell (born 1946) was a member of the African American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock from 1979 to 2013. She is a prolific composer, writing many of the group's songs, as well as being commissioned to create music for dance, choral, film, and stage productions. She is also known for being a female bass. Barnwell conducts music workshops around the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, including a workshop she created called "Building a Vocal Community: Singing in the African American Tradition". In 1977, she founded the Jubilee Singers, a choir at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC.

Barnwell earned bachelor's and master's degrees (1967 and 1968) in speech pathology from State University of New York at Geneseo, and a PhD (1975) in cranio-facial studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1981, she also earned a Master of Science in Public Health, from Howard University.

Barnwell produced Sweet Honey in the Rock's 1998 25th anniversary album, ...Twenty-Five..., and edited Continuum: The First Songbook of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

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