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"Black Gospel Singing" Workshop
Friday, April 11, School of Music Recital Hall
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"Songs of Change" Workshop
Saturday, April 12, School of Music Recital Hall
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information about In Process..., contact Assistant Director for Institutional Equity Diane Bouvier at 740-593-2620

 

April 7, 2003
In Process... to bring songs of change
By George Mauzy

In Process... has always considered its mission changing life's problems through song.

The female African-American a cappella quartet from Washington, D.C., will make its first-ever appearance at Ohio University from April 11-12. During its stay, the quartet will host two complimentary workshops and a free concert on Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m. at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

In Process... is popular for intertwining beautiful harmonies with socially conscious music. The group's style is based on the African-American oral tradition of using song to transform and heal. Their style moves effortlessly between gospel and soul while addressing many of the world's maladies and important issues - AIDS, women's issues, substance abuse, family, self-respect, love, equality, freedom, the environment, justice and peace.

"We sing a lot of original material that members of the group wrote, but we also sing the traditional songs that have transformed and liberated people for many years," group member Paula Pree says. "It's great to perform songs that positively affect people of all races, genders and social classes."

In Process..., which formed in 1980 at a workshop hosted by the a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock, consists of four professional women who work during the week and perform life-changing music on weekends.

Pree, a legal secretary and the group's only original member, credits Sweet Honey In The Rock founder Bernice Johnson with supplying the group with the motivation to take In Process... to the next level.

"Bernice told us we needed to become organized and develop a plan to get our messages out through our music," Pree says. "That was the start of the group and we have been performing concerts since June of 1981.

Other group members include Pam Rogers, a computer consultant; Tia Ade, a program officer; and Nketia Agyeman, an office manager. Because of their hectic schedules, group members practice once a week and don't perform as often as they used to. Pree, however, is quick to point out that the quartet's time limitations do not reduce the impact of its messages.

"Music has always been instrumental behind movements all over the world and that is why we teach people how to appreciate and perform socially conscious music in our workshops," Pree says. "This music is part of our heritage and roots and we are keeping those roots alive. Our a cappella style accentuates our ability to harmonize and be polyrhythmic people and makes the songs more powerful."

During the workshops, the group will share its technique of singing gospel music and songs of change, teaching participants about the storied history of both musical forms. As an added bonus, participants in Friday's gospel music workshop will learn a song they can sing with In Process... at Saturday's concert.

During the last 20 years, In Process... has performed at numerous impressive venues, including many colleges and universities around the nation. Pree says some of her most memorable appearances were an AIDS candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial and performances in front of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. The group is also a regular at Civil Rights events, Women's History Month, Kwanzaa, Black History Month and family celebrations each year.

"Personally, I'm looking forward to singing at Ohio University, because I've never sung in Ohio before," Pree says. "It will be fun to share our songs and messages with the Athens community. The fact that we love what we do is the reason we have been doing this for so long."

George Mauzy is a media specialist for University Communications and Marketing

 

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