Building a Vocal Community®
June 2017

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Upcoming Workshops

Building a Vocal Community®

We are no longer taking online registrations for this workshop.

June 25, 2017 – June 30, 2017
Rhinebeck, NY
Ysaye M. Barnwell, George Brandon
Plus accommodations
SM17-2405-853Ysaye M. Barnwell, George Brandon,

For more than 30 years, Ysaye M. Barnwell and George Brandon have been building a vocal community at Omega. Each year, their workshop is a gathering of former participants and a celebration for those joining the class for the first time.

This is a rare opportunity to be part of a large and welcoming community and chorus of uncommon voices, where no experience is necessary.

During this 5-day workshop, the group explores African-American history and culture through a wide range of vocal music, including African-American congregational and choral traditions, chants from Africa and the diaspora, spirituals, blues, gospel, and music of the Civil Rights movement and contemporary struggles. It is also a wonderful opportunity to experience the joys of finding our own voice in a chorus of other voices.

Discussions of the social, political, and spiritual contexts for the songs—taught in the oral tradition—enhance the experience of the music.

Scholarships are available; see Holistic Studies application at

More Information

Enrollment is limited for this program; register early. This program begins Monday at 9:30 a.m.


Please note this course begins Monday at 9:30 a.m. and has a special schedule:

4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Check In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m.)
7:30 p.m.–8:20 p.m. Welcome & Orientation
8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Celebrating Community or Centering Into the Omega Experience
8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Commuter check-in (if not checked-in the previous evening)
9:30 a.m.–Noon Workshop
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Workshop
9:30 a.m.–Noon Workshop
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Workshop
9:30 a.m.–Noon Workshop
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Workshop
9:30 a.m.–Noon Workshop
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Workshop
8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Participatory Concert
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
Noon–1:00 p.m. Check Out

The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

The Children's Program is generally available during standard workshop hours only. Contact Omega registration at 877.944.2002 for details.

Dining Hall Hours (Dinner is included on arrival day):
Breakfast: 7:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Lunch: Noon–2:00 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.

Daily Open Classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, or movement (subject to availability):
7:00–8:00 a.m., 12:15–1:00 p.m., 5:30–6:15 p.m., 5:30–6:30 p.m.


Musician, actress, and educator Ysaye M. Barnwell, PhD, MSPH, has performed as a member of the internationally acclaimed a cappella quintet Sweet Honey in the Rock for nearly 35 years.

George Brandon, PhD, is an anthropologist, composer, and integrative sound and music practitioner. He founded and leads the Blue Unity Orchestra, an ensemble whose programs include gospel music, Yoruba chant, blues, jazz standards, Afro-Pop, and more.