Young Auditorium offers ‘sweet’ performance

Students and community members will get the chance to experience a variety of musical genres during Sweet Honey in the Rock’s performance as part of the campus’s annual Diversity Forum.

Leslie LaMuro, the marketing director for the Young Auditorium, said students who attend the concert will learn about the power of music as a force for change.

“Music has always had great power; it has been used to share secret messages, hard to express feelings, political messages, and sometimes it’s just there for the sake of beauty,” LaMuro said. “Students will hear all of this in the music and message of Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

Students will not only be able to enjoy the sweet sounds of jazz, hip hop, African chants, spirituals, gospel, rap, reggae, blues and ancient lullabies, but they will also be able to go deep into the meaning of each song and get a message out of it, which is why they are a part of this year’s Diversity Forum.

Students with disabilities will also be able to enjoy the show because member Shirley Saxton uses American Sign Language to interpret performances.

Sweet Honey in the Rock  formed almost forty years ago in Washington, D.C., by Bernice Johnson Reagon.

 

“Different members of the group came in at different times,” Member Aisha Kahlil said. “The current members of Sweet Honey in the Rock have been together for around eight years now.”

Kahlil said she started singing at a young age, and she was inspired by Abbey Lincoln, John Legend, Nancy Wilson and Ian Thomas. Performing opportunities were everywhere for her including her church choir, neighborhood events, high school choir and music programs at her university, she added.

Sweet Honey in the Rock will be performing their wide repertoire of music both a cappella and with percussion instruments to add some additional rhythm.

“I want students to be touched by the performance, so that way they can think about something they haven’t thought about before, feel something they haven’t felt before,” Kahlil said. “The whole experience should be positive and bring positive change and outcomes.”

Over the years, the group has received several awards and honors. Their album, titled “Experience…101,” which was released in 2008, was nominated for a Grammy.

Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday in the Young Auditorium. Tickets range from $19 to $29 for the general public, and is free to UW-Whitewater students although a ticket is still required.

 

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