CHS Choir Members Attend Mendelssohn Club Concert featuring composer Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Sunday, February 26, 40 Cheltenham Choir students attended an outstanding performance by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia. The concert, led by Dr. Paul Rardin of Temple University, featured the work of Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. Dr. Barnwell is a highly renowned singer, composer, arranger, song-leader, and former member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, an African-American women’s a cappella group.

Dr. Barnwell headshot.jpegAt Sunday’s performance, Dr. Barnwell discussed her work and led the audience in singing three different four-part songs which she taught by rote throughout the concert. Cheltenham singers were active participants and had a wonderful time.  The concert, entitled “Big Sing: American Stories,” featured the Mendelssohn Club performing four of Barnwell’s own compositions, along with folk songs and spirituals. The program also included Afro-American Fragments, a lovely setting of Langston Hughes poems by William Averitt, who was also in attendance at the concert.

In December, all Cheltenham singers performed Dr. Barnwell’s “Hope,” and in May, our Concert Choir will perform her piece entitled “Breaths.” We were honored to get to meet her in person!

 

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