Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 9/13/02

MARLBORO, VT – Internationally known gospel singer, pianist, composer and choral director Horace Clarence Boyer will lecture at Marlboro College on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. He will combine lecture and performance with the trio the Year of Jubilee 3 to demonstrate the history of gospel music and its impact on contemporary music.

Image of Horace Boyer and the Year of Jubilee 3
L to R: Horace Boyer, Jean Davis Palmer, Sheila Davis Harris, Gregory Sutton

The evening will center on African American gospel music from the Golden Age of Gospel Music, 1945 to 1965. Boyer will provide informative historical detail on the origin of the music, while guiding the audience through each stage of gospel music's development.

African-American gospel music originated in slave songs, field hollers and Negro Spirituals, helping to perpetuate and sustain rural African American culture. By the 20th century it evolved into more emotional and jubilant black religious music. The music was the urban counterpart of the spiritual and blues, representing the new freedom of religious, social and political consciousness of African Americans.

Boyer, an authority on gospel music, worked as a professor of music theory and African American music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for 26 years until his recent retirement. While at the university he was director of the Voices of New Africa House Workshop Choir, a group that toured throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. Boyer is also member of the group, the Boyer Brothers, with his brother James. As a soloist, Boyer has toured throughout Japan, Italy, Germany, England and France.

The Year of Jubilee 3 is a trio composed of Sheila Davis, Jean Davis and Gregory Sutton. Sheila Davis toured and recorded with the Voices of Zen, a professional choir from Detroit, MI. Davis recorded with Rhani Song Production and performed with Rhani Song's Family Love in the early eighties. Jean Davis sang and toured with many jazz and funk groups including Mickey Havens and Higher Ground. Sutton has appeared with Hezekiah Walker, Shirley Caesar, Timothy Wright, Rance Allen and Avery Sharpe. Sutton and the Davis sisters were also each a part of Voices of Jubilation and Integrity, under the direction of the late David Marshall Jackson.

The performance will feature various gospel songs, with Boyer providing a musical analysis in a non-technical language, and placing each stage of the music into historical perspective.

This event is open to the public and free of charge.

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