When Sweet Honey In The Rock first performed this fall at the University of Chicago, both the singers and audience members were moved to tears while sharing stories of struggle and resiliency.
The love was palpable—the Grammy-winning ensemble’s peaceful, humanitarian spirit resonating as they described the power of music. That message is part of the a cappella group’s mission as the 2018-19 Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence.
“It was refreshing and inspiring,” said Louise Robinson, a founding member. “And an honor to hear and get feedback from people about what our music has meant to them and their lives.”
Sweet Honey In The Rock returns to UChicago this month for a series of events, part of a residency which gives world-class musicians a chance to engage with the University and Hyde Park communities. Randel, the program’s namesake, served as the 12th president of the University of Chicago and is an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Music.
Sweet Honey’s stay begins with a Feb. 5 meet-and-greet at International House. On Feb. 7, the group will host an “Arts in Activism” discussion panel at Goodspeed Hall with Asst. Prof. Eve Ewing, playwright Kristiana Rae Colón and musician Jonathan Lykes.
The weeklong winter visit culminates with a Feb. 8 performance at Mandel Hall, but the singers are due back on campus May 6-11.
“Sweet Honey’s high artistic standards, finely honed repertoire and deep commitment to issues of social justice will have a profound and lasting impact on the students and audiences with whom they interact,” said Barbara Schubert, director of performance programs at UChicago.