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Volume 23, No. 5       October 16, 2000
 

Gospel Music Expert Boyer Will Lecture and Perform

The yearlong lecture and performance series "Reverberations: Music of the African Diaspora" will continue on Sunday, October 29, when Horace Clarence Boyer, professor emeritus of music theory and African American music at the University of Massachusetts, presents "Old Ship of Zion: African American Gospel Music." Boyer will be assisted by the Amani Gospel Singers. His lecture and performance, which begin at 7:00 p.m. in the recital hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music, kick off a six-day visit that features a concert, a five-part discussion series, and a film screening. All of the events are free and open to the public.

  • Monday, October 30–Friday, November 3, 12:15–12:45 p.m.; Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall
    • "The History of Gospel," a five-part series of presentations and discussions.
  • Wednesday, November 1, 8:00 p.m.; Park Hall Auditorium
    • Special film screening of The Story of Gospel, a BBC documentary, followed by a discussion led by Boyer, who contributed to the film. The program focuses on how gospel evolved at the same time as spirituals and how the African tradition of slave songs was fused with the Anglo tradition of Methodist hymns
  • Thursday, November 2, 8:15 p.m.; Ford Hall, Whalen Center
    • "Ithaca Gospel Concert," a performance by a gospel choir composed of members of the Ithaca community and conducted by Boyer.

Horace Clarence BoyerIn 1999 Boyer ended a long and distinguished career as a scholar of gospel music when he retired from the University of Massachusetts after 26 years of teaching music theory and African American music. He had previously been on the faculties of Albany State College in Albany, Georgia, and the University of Central Florida at Orlando.

In the mid-1980s he served as a curator at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. He was also named distinguished scholar at large at Nashville’s Fisk University, where he conducted the famed Fisk Jubilee Singers in 35 concerts. Boyer has served as adviser on gospel music to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, for which he wrote 45 biographical entries and a historical and analytical essay. He has edited two hymnals and authored How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel.

In addition to being a noted scholar, Boyer is an accomplished performer. He and his brother James, now a retired professor of education at Kansas State University, formed the Boyer Brothers and traveled throughout 40 states making concert, festival, and television appearances. The duo has also appeared in concerts with such luminaries as Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, Clara Ward, and Dorothy Love Coates. The Boyer Brothers recorded on the Savoy and Nashville labels.

The "Reverberations: Music of the African Diaspora" series is designed to explore the African contribution to musical expression in all of its variety. It is a serious intellectual inquiry into the music, history, art, literature, and experiences of the African diaspora that so greatly influenced the defining of the Americas.

The series is the result of a collaboration between the School of Music and the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity.

For a detailed schedule, suggested reading list, and relevant links, visit the Reverberations web site.

 

 
 

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Andrejs Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications. 27. Oct. 2000