MEET THE POET
DR. MARILYN NELSON
Former Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut (2001—2006) Dr. Marilyn Nelson’s books include The Homeplace; The Fields of Praise; Carver; A Wreath for Emmett Till; Faster than Light, and How I Discovered Poetry. Her book Fortune’s Bones is the libretto for the cantata by the same title, composed by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. Forthcoming books are Seneca Village (Namelos) and American Ace (Penguin/Dial). The 2012 recipient of the Robert Frost Medal and a 2014 recipient of the Furious Flower Lifetime Achievement Award, she was founder/director of “Soul Mountain Retreat” for ten years. At the present time she is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Poet-in-Residence of The Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
MEET THE COMPOSER and PROJECT CURATOR
DR. YSAYE M. BARNWELL
Ysaye M. Barnwell PhD, MSPH is a native New Yorker who has lived in Washington, DC since 1968. Dr. Barnwell studied violin with her father for 15 years beginning at age 2 ½, and majored in music through high school. With this background, she went on to earn the Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech Pathology (SUNY, Geneseo, 1967, 1968), Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Pathology (University of Pittsburgh, 1975), and the Master of Science in Public Health (Howard University, 1981). Dr. Barnwell has been awarded four Honorary Doctorate Degrees, and the 2014 Humanitarian Award from the Washington Choral Arts Society.
For over a decade, Dr. Barnwell was a professor at the College of Dentistry at Howard University, after which she administered health programs at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Dr. Barnwell joined Sweet Honey In The Rock® in 1979 and recently retired from the ensemble after 34 years.
Dr. Barnwell has been a commissioned composer on numerous choral, film, video, dance and theatrical projects. She is the composer of the cantata, FORTUNE’S BONES: THE MANUMISSION REQUIEM, and curator of The Fortune’s Bones Project® which began as a year long community engagement experience culminating in two performances of the cantata at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center of the University of Maryland in 2012. In Feb. 2015, the project concluded its west coast premiere in Seattle.
Dr. Barnwell has, for the past thirty years, spent much of her time off-stage working as 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 on three continents, making her work in the field a significant source of inspiration for both singers and non-singers, and a model of pedagogy for educators, cultural activists and historians.
Four axioms have proven significant in Barnwell’s life. To whom much is given, much is required. As one door closes, another door opens. Everything matters. Say YES!
PLEASE VISIT THESE WEBSITES FOR DR. BARNWELL:
http://www.vocalcommunity.com/BUILDING_A_VOCAL_COMMUNITY- WORKSHOPS AND COMMUNITY SINGS
WWW.YMBARNWEL.COM - MUSIC CATALOG
WWW.BARNWELLARCHIVES.COM - BARNWELL FAMILY ARCHIVES OF PHOTOS, LETTERS AND OTHER MATERIALS
CONTACT DR. BARNWELL
MAIL: FORTUNE’S BONES PROJECT - P. O. BOX 32164 WASHINGTON, DC 20007