The Group

Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning: breath, vital energy, life force. It is also a five voice a cappella group who uses their breath to make sound to relax the body, still the mind and open the heart. Their sound is a unique blend of western folk, jazz, and choral music influenced by the music of India, Tibet, Tuva, Mongolia, Bulgaria and Georgia, with a strong emphasis on vocal harmonics.

The members of Prana are Amy Fradon, Kirsti Gholson, Baird Hersey, Timothy Hill, and Bruce Milner. Each of them is a respected performer in their own right who join together in Prana to create beautiful rising harmonies, shimmering vocal textures, and high arcing melodies.

PRANA, was formed by Baird Hersey in 2000 to breathe life into the music from his "Waking the Cobra" CD.

More About Prana

Prana on YouTube
Baird and PRANA have performed at a Benefit for The Dalai Lama Foundation, and Omega Institute's "Ecstatic Chant Retreat". They have opened for Philip Glass and performed as a part of the "Gatherings", "Tibet House", Menla", "One Voice", "Woodstock Cycle" concerts series, "The CSO Tsunami Relief Benefit" and many local benefits as well Yoga studios an colleges across the country.

Prana has had the honor of giving a personal performance for Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and four pieces from "Waking the Cobra" were used as part of "Live! Light on Life" a performance for BKS Iyengar at City Center in New York City.

In 2005 Prana's "The Eternal Embrace" was featured in its entirety for the whole hour of "Hearts of Space", which airs on more than 230 NPR stations.

Since 2005 Prana has performed regularly with Krishna Das. The evenings began with the group performing. Then KD joined them to sing several of his chants over Baird's a cappella arrangements for the voices of Prana. This collaboration was the starting point for their CD "Gathering In The Light". In 2014 Prana released Sadhana, the final album featuring the full 11 voice choir. The next release, Chiaroscuro, in 2016 is with the new 5 voice version of Prana and percussion ensemble Nexus.

The Singers

Baird Hersey is a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellow. His eclectic musical career has encompassed Commissions from Harvard University, New York State Council for the Arts, New Mexico Council for the Arts, The Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Sound and Light Spectacular, The Public Theater, Meet the Composer, The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and performances throughout the US and Europe in such different setting as the Berlin Jazz Festival and MTV. Hersey has recorded 14 albums as a leader or soloist He is the author of The Practice of Nada Yoga published by Inner Traditions. He has recorded or performed with; Nexus, Steve Smith (Journey), Doane Perry (Jethro Tull), Paul Winter, Graham Parker, Krishna Das, Wah!, and Aine Minogue. He has been part of the faculty of The California Institute of Integral Studies since 2013.

Amy Fradon is a singer/songwriter, a passionate teacher of vocal discovery and an ordained Interfaith minister. She is the founder of the Vocal Visionary Training Program. She has recorded 10 albums under her own name and with her former partner Leslie Ritter and performed with Maria Muldaur, Happy and Artie Traum, Robbie DuPree, Livingston Taylor, Ed Sanders and the Fugs, Orleans, Peter Yarrow, Tiny Tim, and Rick Danko. and in the Broadway Touring Company of Pumpboys and Dinettes.

Kirsti Gholson is animal rights activist, environmental advocate, singer/songwriter, recording artist and performer. Before moving to Woodstock, Kirsti made music in Philadelphia with her bands "Art Can Kill" and "Sweet William". She performed Woodstock '99. Her song, "I got the Message" was aired on MTV's Laguna Beach. Her song .Ways to Kiss the Ground. was nominated for the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards. She recently released an album titled, "The Summer I Stopped Whining" under the band name "Little Green Blackbird".

Timothy Hill is singer/composer who has has released three recordings of original songs This Bright World, The Human Place, and Spirit's Body. He is also a pioneer in the art of harmonic singing, having recorded 8 albums as an original member with David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir. Mr. Hill is a Grammy nominee for his work on Pete Seeger's "The Storm King". He co-leads Wayfarer, Sleeping Bee, and Weave Vocal Research Group, and has performed with John Cage, Bill Frisell, Jeff Buckley, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Pauline Oliveros, Madan Gopal Singh, Joe Maneri, Butch Morris and Carter Burwell, Hill has been a visiting lecturer at the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program.

Bruce Milner is in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of "Every Mother's Son" who had a #1 radio hit with Come on Down To My Boat Baby off of their LP record on MGM. As a keyboard player and singer, he works in many musical contexts.
    © Baird Hersey & Prana