Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 30, 2004

Expert on African-American Gospel Music to Lead Workshop April 15 at Whitworth

Whitworth College will present Horace Clarence Boyer, Ph.D., musician and author of "How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel, "who will lead an African-American gospel-music workshop for singers and music directors on Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. in Seeley Mudd Chapel on the Whitworth campus; the workshop is free and open to the public. For information, please call (509) 777-3280.

The workshop is designed to familiarize participants with characteristic gospel choral-music techniques and vocal devices, such as incorporating the "high who," adding a "vamp," hand-clapping, and body rhythm. Musical scores of traditional and contemporary gospel songs will serve as the repertoire and will be provided for participants.

The public is also invited to additional Whitworth events on April 15 that feature Boyer. He will present a lecture, "The Old Ship of Zion: African-American Gospel Music," at 8 a.m. in the Whitworth Music Building, Room 200, and will assist during the weekly campus chapel worship service, held at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Seeley Mudd Chapel. Both events are free.

Boyer holds a bachelor's degree in music from Bethune-Cookman College and a master's degree and a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. He is professor emeritus of music theory and African-American music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught for 26 years.

He also served as gospel-music advisor and is the author of 45 biographical entries for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music. In addition to writing How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel, Boyer edited Lift Every Voice and Sing II - An African-American Hymnal, for the Episcopal Church.

Boyer and his brother, James, perform as the gospel duo the Boyer Brothers. The two have made more than 500 appearances, both in solo performances and with gospel singers including Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward, Alex Bradford and James Cleveland.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Ben Brody, assistant professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3214 or bbrody@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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