Rickie Byars-Beckwith, a prolific composer, singer,
performer, and music director, is widely known as an intuitive
channel of healing music. Rickie's unique talents have brought
her acclaim as a pioneer in spiritual music and have earned her
an honorary doctorate of music and numerous awards.
Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia,
Rickie emerged early as a unique, multifaceted musical talent
learning from choir directors in the segregated school systems
of the South. The radio music of the 60's and
70's—especially the sounds of Motown, Memphis, and
Liverpool—helped form the foundation of her style. Her
rich beginnings in gospel and rhythm and blues were augmented by
her studies at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where she first
started composing songs. In New York, she continued to mature as
an artist, working as a lead singer with the Pharaoh Sanders
Ensemble, Roland Hanna and the New York Jazz Quartet, Howard
Johnson, and many others. Billboard magazine
lauded her professional recordings, especially the
originality of her musical style.
Journeying to California, Rickie continued to discover her
own voice while performing in many popular venues throughout the
city of Los Angeles. In 1988, she began attending the Agape
International Spiritual Center, where the teachings of New
Thought-Ancient Wisdom deepened and evolved her music into a
whole new realm. Recognizing Rickie's talents and expanding
spiritual understanding, Dr. Michael Beckwith, founder and
spiritual director of Agape, asked her to form a choir for a
special holiday presentation. This 30-voice ensemble grew into
the 200-plus voices of the Agape International Choir, which,
under Rickie's inspired leadership, is the core of Agape's music
Together Drs. Michael and Rickie have written lyrics and
music performed by the Agape Choir in concert venues worldwide.
Always in demand, their performances inspire peace and goodwill
in the global community, using the universal language of music.
Their collaboration, known the world over as the “Sound of
Agape,” heals the body, mind, and heart.
Rickie B.B. (as she is affectionately known) is a
multifaceted talent who delivers a dynamic concert as easily as
she can facilitate a workshop or a retreat. She has
co-facilitated six women's retreats, most recently with esteemed
author and spiritual leader Mary Manin Morrissey. She has
performed with the Agape Choir at the United Nations and the
Lincoln Center in New York, at the Synthesis Dialogues in Rome, and in audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain.
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