The songs of the Civil Rights movement, the hymns in her minister father's church, classical musical training, and the songwriters of the burgeoning folk movement of the 60's provided rich soil and deep roots for Rose's emerging gifts as a songwriter and singer. Her songs are an artful blend of beautifully crafted lyrics and music, with messages that inspire listeners to engage with the justice issues of their times.
Rose was a pioneering voice in the emerging Women's Cultural Movement of the 70's and 80's- singing at national and international festivals, touring the United States and Canada, and joining voices with artists such as Holly Near, Bernice Reagan, Malvina Reynolds, and many more. Her landmark anthem, "Glad To Be A Woman", was performed and recorded at Carnegie Hall by Meg Christian and Chris Williamson.
As Betsy's work became more widely known, artists such as Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, and Bobbi McFerron have sung and/or recorded her songs, as have numerous Women's and Peace Choruses throughout the country. Contemporary cultural visionaries such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Matthew Fox, and Joanna Macy have included her music in their work.
Betsy has performed and taught widely throughout the United States and Canada, India, Australia and the Czech Republic. She has sung at festivals, and at conferences for spiritual organizations, educators, and parents, including the California Early Childhood Educators,
La Leche League, Association of Humanistic Psychology, Omega Institute, and AIDS and Hospice services.
Rose, a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, has also taught and led workshops at Wisdom University in Oakland, Starr King School of Ministry in Berkeley, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre.
The events during and after 9/11 inspired Rose to form the Bay Area Singing for Peace project, wherein groups of non professional singers gather in public sites (BART stations, Farmer's Markets, etc) to sing songs of healing and peace. She also leads Womansong Circles, monthly participatory singing groups for women, in Berkeley, Palo Alto, and the Santa Cruz area.
Her work with children and families includes serving as Music Specialist at Cornell School in Albany, CA, and training teachers in using music to teach conflict resolution, diversity awareness and social skills to young children. She is on the teaching staff of the family practice program of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
Betsy's life journey has spanned many social movements and life experiences, and all find their way into her humanistic, heart centered, and visionary original songs. The effects of addiction on family life, the death of close family members, a long, midlife struggle toward parenthood, the joys and challenges of raising children, immersion in varied spiritual traditions, and the ever present cry of the earth and her people for healing and justice, all
find their way into her lyrical and musical voice, making her a
sought after presence in communities of spirit and of action.
Rose's numerous recordings include Motherlight, songs from the journey of parenting, and Heart of a Child, inspirational songs for educators and parents. and In My Two Hands, songs inspired by the teachings and poetry of Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2006, she will release several new CD's: songs for children and families, a "best of" compilation of her 20-plus years of recorded songs, and a live recording of selections from the Womansong Circles repertoire.
Betsy Rose lives in Berkeley California with her partner David Stark, and 13-year-old son Matthew.
Check out the artist's website:
1. I Want a World for You
2. Can I Have It
4. Thanks to Life
5. Breathing In, Breathing Out
6. Spirited Child
7. Mama's Milk
8. Under My Skin
9. I Have Arrived
10. Raising Up Children
11. Send Me a Voice
12. Gentle Wind/All Night Long