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Founder Bernice Johnson Reagon will speak as the Jones Visiting Lecturer Nov. 5

Renowned a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 as part of the Williams Center’s Sound Alternative series.
Founding director, Bernice Johnson Reagon, will also speak as the Jones Visiting Lecturer 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5. As part of the Roethke Humanities Festival, this presentation is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Tickets for the Sweet Honey performance are free for Lafayette students, $6 for students at LVAIC schools, $4 for faculty and staff, and $25 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009. Remaining Sound Alternative performances are the Kronos Quartet, Nov. 19, $25; and An Irish Homecoming featuring Cherish the Ladies and Maura O’Connell, April 7, $20.

As a performer, songwriter, activist, and scholar, Reagon has been singing, preaching, and teaching traditional African American music and its cultural history for more than 40 years. She founded Sweet Honey in the Rock in 1973 at the Black Repertory Theater in Washington D.C. Since then, the group has evolved into an internationally renowned ensemble and a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of communities of conscience around the world.

The Biblical metaphor of sweet honey in the rock – sustenance and strength – captures completely these African American women whose repertory is steeped in the sacred music of the black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere. Their performances are at once grand celebrations of gorgeously blended song and occasions for affirmation of the highest values of humanity.

The 2008–2009 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for extraordinary support of the 25th anniversary season, and to Joan Moran and the Amaranth Foundation for support of the Ravi Shankar commission.

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