The Power of Song: Ysaye Barnwell Workshop

The Power of Song: Building a Vocal Community®
A Weekend Workshop with Ysaÿe Barnwell

NOVEMBER 10-12, 2017
Friday: 7:30 PM -9:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

We are overjoyed to welcome world-renowned song-leader Dr. Ysaÿe Barnwell to Toronto for a full weekend workshop this fall. A former member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Dr. Barnwell was a foremost song-leader of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and travels extensively to inspire communities to join voices in song for the common good.

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 Barnwell, singers and non-singers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American culture including spirituals, gospels, ring shouts, hymns, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement. The historical, social, and political context will be provided as an introduction to the songs. All that is required is a willingness to sing.

Dr. Ysaÿe M. Barnwell is a master teacher and choral clinician in African American cultural performance. Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition” has been conducted for twenty-eight years all over the world, making her work in the field a significant source of inspiration and learning for both singers and non-singers, and a model of exceptional pedagogy for educators, cultural activists and historians. In 1979, Dr. Barnwell joined the world-renowned a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock®. She was a member of the group for 34 years, appearing as a singer on more than thirty recordings. In 1977, Barnwell founded the All Souls Jubilee Singers in Washington, D.C., where she currently resides.

This workshop will take place over 3 days:
Friday, November 10: 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Saturday, November 11: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 12: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Adults: $140
Teens & Children Aged 10-17: $70
We have a few volunteer positions available. Please contact Mila to learn more.

This workshop will be held at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs, in the historic “Cabbagetown” neighbourhood of Toronto. Kiwanis is a vibrant community hub where children and youth are supported and empowered to achieve their dreams. The address is: 101 Spruce Street.

Register now to reserve your spot. Visit our event page at:

This event is brought to you by Sing for Joy, an all-inclusive singing community in the City of Toronto. We welcome all voices, and require no singing experience ~ just a desire to sing with others in harmony. We are a member of the Ubuntu Choir Network, a global community of singing groups who believe that the joy of singing is a universal birthright, and that together, regardless of musical background, we can help improve the world by joining voices in song. Visit our website: