Fellows Network

Rachel Bagby

Choral Earth and Singing Farm, Vocal Artist, Activist, Founder

Charlottesville, Virginia

Rachel’s work as a vocal artist and composer has earned her acclaim from audiences and critics worldwide. As a member of Bobby McFerrin’s a cappella vocal group “Voicestra,” Rachel practiced the art of dynamic singing and performed on numerous nationally syndicated television and radio programs.

In 1993, Rachel produced FULL, her debut full-length release of original chantsongs. Her music is featured in the Emmy-award winning film Dialogues with Madwomen and the acclaimed documentaries The Way Home and Alice Walker: Visions of the Spirit. Her publishing company, Breathing Music, widely distributes her choral arrangements, including Daughterwise Suite, a collection of songs about the joys and challenges of caring for aging parents.

Throughout Rachel’s rich and varied career, social/environmental activism has always played an integral role. In 1977, she helped her mother create a community service organization that planted 40 neighborhood gardens, rehabilitated 70 houses, and designed a shared house for elders, students and single mothers. She later served as the Associate Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University, where she conducted extensive research on women’s leadership in social and ecological justice movements and began giving keynote speeches across the United States about her findings. Most recently, she founded Singing Farm, a solar-powered, certified organic learning community in central Virginia. Her music, writing and activism seek to cultivate restorative relationships between nature and culture.

Rachel has worked all over the world with thousands of people devoted to bringing their voices to life. Her teaching draws on mindfulness practices, her dynamic personal experiences, and her JD in Law and Social Change from Stanford Law School. Rachel gives keynote addresses, conducts trainings in mindfulness and daughterwise eldercare, and offers voice blessings—vibralingual practices and performances that use the voice to embody resonant wisdom—to organizations and individuals.

Selected Videos
Rachel played an instrumental – and vocal – role in the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco, held in February 2013.  The central question of the gathering was: “How can we live with greater presence, meaning, and mindfulness in the technology age?” Here are video clips of some of Rachel’s contributions on the mainstage:

Presencing through rhythm at opening of conference with Kai Eckhart

Moderating session with Marianne Williamson and Congressman Tim Ryan
on “What kind / of country / do we want to have?”

Creative mindfulness practice on intention with Kai Eckhart

Selected Publications
Rachel is the author of Divine Daughters: Liberating the Power and Passion of Women’s Voices, a collection of poetry, essays, fiction, music manuscripts and memoir. She has also written for The Wall Street Journal, Time, Ms. Magazine, Women of Power, and other periodicals, anthologies and literary journals. Much of her writing focuses on the powers of women’s collective voices and the healing capacity of cultivating our individual voices.

Learn more about Rachel on Wikipedia.

Updated February 2020.