Barnard Sisters headline benefit Sunday

Friday, July 29, 2011
Kara Barnard (left) and Pam Barnard Hays (right) perform a folk ballad. The nationally known pair, performing professionally for 22 years as the Barnard Sisters, will host a benefit at 5 p.m. on Sunday in Bloomington. (Contributed photo)

The Barnard Sisters, a folk duo composed of Bloomfield High School graduates, will headline a Bloomington benefit Sunday to build a Buddhist monastery in the city.

The show, slated to begin at 5 p.m. at Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling monastery, 102 W. Clubhouse Dr., is the second annual fundraiser featuring sisters Pam and Kara Barnard.

An Aug. 8 show last year drew about 100 people, raising around $1,000, the record shows.

Admission to the monastery show's a suggested donation of $10, though those with less can pay less, organizers said.

Attendees might also want to bring lawn chairs, though some blankets and chairs will be provided.

Now in their 22nd year as an official duo, the Barnard Sisters began playing coffee houses in 1989, shows which would ultimately lead them to shows opening for James Taylor, Wynonna, Dave Matthews Band, REO Speedwagon, and Fleetwood Mac.

They perform often, despite living apart. Younger sister Pam Barnard Hays is now based in Charleston, S.C., where she performs in TV commercials and stage shows when not playing with the Folly Beach Bluegrass Society.

Still, her favorite role remains the one most Greene Countians know her best for, essaying Patsy Cline in Shawnee Theatre's "Always ... Patsy Cline," sold-out shows which held Shawnee's attendance record for several years.

Elder sister Kara Barnard, meanwhile, now makes Brown County her home, where she co-owns the Weed Patch Music Co. in Nashville, Ind., and tutors around 50 music students.

Kara's also a respected music producer, having overseen around a dozen records by area artists.

She's placed in the top five mandolin players nationwide in 2009 and has been featured on five nationally televised PBS specials, and headlined the 1997 International Book and Music Fair in Bogota, Colombia.

The duo perform on autoharp, banjo, guitar, mandolin, mountain dulcimier and musical saw, with Pam Barnard Hays occasionally kicking in a round of the clogging she's done since she was a teenager.

The duo's most recent album is "Flying Down King Street," named after a route in Pam Barnard's Charleston, S.C., hometown.

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