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19 October 2007

Grammy Award-Winning Sweet Honey in the Rock presents a harmonically soulful evening at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center

Sweet Honey in the Rock is six African American women joining their powerful voices, unaccompanied except for body and hand percussion instruments, to create a blend of lyrics, movement and narrative. Rooted in the tradition of African congregational choral style and its many extensions, their songs variously relate history, point the finger at injustice, encourage activism, and sing the praises of love.

The all female a cappella singing group will perform at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center located on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The show is sponsored by the Lois Lehrman Grass Foundation. The media partner is Urban Connection.

Their music speaks out against oppression and exploitation of every kind. One hears the moan of blues, the power of early 20th century gospel, echoes of the community quartet, and jazz choral vocalizations freshly tinged with church melodic and harmonic runs. A Sweet Honey concert is a transforming experience for the audience, drenching them with harmonies. They take their ever-growing audiences through a complex journey of celebration and struggle rooted in the African-American history.

In 1973, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon formed a quintet of African-American women, singing as a unit from a vocal workshop of Washington DC’s Black Repertory Theater Company. Dr. Reagon organized this a cappella group and called them “Sweet Honey In The Rock.” The group name comes from the Bible, Psalm 81:16 - In this passage of scripture the poet and musician King David advised his people that if they would serve the Lord they would be rewarded by being fed “honey out of the rock,” the place where, according to legend of that time, the sweetest nectar was produced.

Their talent to sing sacred music of the black church - spirituals, hymns, gospel - as well as jazz and blues made hem a Grammy® Award-winning ensemble. Now a septet, their words are simultaneously interpreted in uniquely expressive American Sign Language.

This tour engagement of Sweet Honey in the Rock is funded through the American Masterpieces program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, a major initiative to acquaint Americans with the best of their culture and artistic legacy.

Tickets for the performance are $32 adult, $30 senior citizen, $20 student. RLAC Box Office phone is 717-231-ROSE (7673). Tickets can be purchased online - click on the Website below.

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