About Betsy Blakeslee
B Betsy sits at the helm of three projects - World Harmony Chorus - Oakland, Expressive Arts Refuge , and VerbQ. Her choruses have performed at the State of the World Forum and UN Millennium Summit in NYC, and at Freight & Salvage and benefits in the San Francisco Bay.
Her work with refugees spans two decades: She directed expressive arts programs for refugee youth in Bosnia and Croatia during the wars of the 1990s. In 2016 and 2017, her Expressive Arts Refuge team and Moira Smiley have been running similar programs at refugee camps in France and Greece.
A love of language spurred her to develop VerbQ -- a thesaurus on steroids. VerbQ.com builds vocabulary and sparks the writing of bloggers, students and writers. With VerbQ partner Nicole Janik, VerbQ grew into a database showcasing 14,000 verbs, organized by topic. It's free!
World Harmony Chorus
World Harmony Chorus sings stunning arrangements of a cappella world music. Repertoire includes ornamented, hauntingly beautiful Balkan songs, spicy Latin polyrhythms, joyful African music, and little-known traditional songs from five continents. There are no auditions, and no music-reading skills are required. Singers at all levels are welcome, and experienced singers can shine in shared leads. World Harmony Chorus performs several times a semester. To join, just show up at one of the first three rehearsals of the fall or spring semester in Oakland, CA. A top-notch arranger of choral world music, Daniel Steinberg, founder of World Harmony Chorus, directs WHC in Mountain View and Santa Cruz. Betsy directs WHC in Oakland.
VerbQ is a writing tool for bloggers, students, and writers. Its database of 14,000 verbs, verb phrases and phrasal verbs stirs fresh ideas and powers your writing. Search for verbs in groups arranged by topic and spark your writing with fresh writing prompts. Developed over ten years by Betsy Blakeslee and Nicole Janik, with input from over 30 professionals, VerbQ helps you search for the most precise or evocative verb for every sentence. If you love words, check out sample sentences and writing prompts.
Expressive Arts Refuge
In 2016, Expressive Arts Refuge taught music and produced three concerts with refugees in Calais Jungle, France. Over two months, in partnership with NGOs, we also helped develop a play written and acted by refugees, and donated bilingual dictionaries, sleeping bags, shoes, and phone credit for refugees. In July, 2017, Betsy Blakeslee partnered with Caritas to run a program for homeless, underage refugee girls in Calais, France. In August, 2017, Betsy, Moira Smiley, and the EAR team taught their signature music and body music program at Skaramagas Refugee Camp, Greece.
I THINK OF THOSEContemporary a cappella. SATB. A fresh, original composition with a catchy melody, easy-moderate vocal percussion, awesome harmonies, and optional body percussion by Keith Terry. Lyrics based on Stephen Spender's poem, "I Think Continually of Those who were Truly Great." A great piece for MLK Day and fundraisers. Moderate challenge.
World Harmony Ensemble +/or World Harmony Chorus perform at La Pena 11.3.17 8:00 pm, Craneway Pavilion, Richmond 12.17.17 10:30 am, and Lake Merritt Methodist Church, Oakland 1.30.18 7:30 pm. For details, see the calendar below.
Feb 13, 2018 - mid-Jun, 2018
World Harmony Chorus Rehearsals: Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm. To check it out, just show up at one of the first rehearsals of the spring or fall session. Experienced singers can join later. Lake Merritt Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore, Oakland, CA.