Now celebrating their 45th anniversary, Sweet Honey In The Rock® is an all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble rooted in American history and culture. This renowned group sings worldwide and brings attention to social injustice, immigration issues and more. Tickets are now on sale for Sweet Honey In The Rock ® at the South Orange Performing Arts Center on Sunday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $48-$75 may be purchased by going online at SOPACnow.org/ sweet-honey-in-the-rock.
Sweet Honey In The Rock ® was founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, who was teaching a vocal workshop with the Washington, D.C. Black Repertory Company. The name of the group was derived from a song, based on Psalm 81:16, which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them. Johnson has said that this first song in which four women blended their voices was so powerful, that there was no question what the name of the group should be. The ensemble’s most powerful messages are proclaimed through an enormous catalog of songs addressing the world’s woes. They are currently occupied with immigration injustices, congressional greed and lack of compassion for citizens, the environmental imbalance, racial issues and women’s issues.
The sixth member of the group is a sign-language interpreter and the deaf community is encouraged to attend these joyous performances.
Sweet Honey In The Rock® has received several Grammy Award nominations, including one for their children’s album, Still the Same Me which received the Silver Award from the National Association of Parenting Publications. They won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album for their version of Lead Belly‘s “Grey Goose” from the compilation album Folkways: A Vision Shared.
Their vocals appeared in a number of animated counting cartoons on the long running PBS series Sesame Street and the group was the subject of the 2005 documentary Sweet Honey In The Rock: Raise Your Voice.
The group has ventured through 20 vocalists since its creation. Embarking on a new chapter in their musical journey, Sweet Honey In The Rock® now includes four core vocalists—Louise Robinson, Carol Maillard (both founding members) Nitanju Bolade Casel and Aisha Kahlil—plus Shirley Childress (an American Sign Language Interpreter who has been performing live with the group since 1981).
SOPAC is ADA compliant. Please note this performance at SOPAC will be sign language-interpreted and assisted listening devices and large print programs are available. For more information about accessibility at SOPAC visit SOPACnow.org/access.
Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.