Thursday, July 23, 2009

HORACE BOYER: May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

Received via email:

AMHERST - Horace Clarence Boyer of Amherst, passed away Tuesday morning, July 21, 2009 in Amherst.

He was born July 28, 1935 in Winter Park, Fla. to Mr. & Mrs. Climmie, Sr. & Ethel M. Boyer. He was the fourth of eight children born to this union. He was a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and held masters and doctorate degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.). His teaching career included tenures at Albany State College (Georgia), the University of Central Florida at Orlando and from 1973 to 1999, the University of Massachusetts as a member of the Faculty of Music and Dance.

As a very young boy, he formed a gospel-singing duet with his brother, James (a Professor of Education & American Ethnic Studies at Kansas State University).

As a gospel performer, he traveled into some 40 states. Additionally, he served as a lecturer and clinician on gospel music and the African American Sacred tradition.

During his career, he received many citations, awards and honors from schools, colleges, churches and professional groups including the Martin Luther King Heritage Award from the city of his birth in Florida, the Lifetime Achievement Award of The Society of American Music which he received during their Denver Conference in 2009 - as well as the Union of Black Episcopalians in 2008.

He leaves to mourn his passing his loving and caring wife of forty-four years, Gloria Boyer, and a host of relatives, friends and associates. A private graveside service is planned. A public memorial service, to be held at Grace Episcopal Church, will be held at a later date.

And here's the link to a PBS piece from a few years back. I had the privilege of working with Horace in the LPM (Leadership Program for Musicians) project and also when he came here to L.A. to lead a clergy conference a few years ago. A brilliant musician, faithful proclaimer of the gospel and just a great guy.


Daniel Weir said...

I attended one of Horace's workshops and a few years later preached at Grace Church, Amherst and was pleased and a but nervous to see him sitting in one of the front pews.

Paul said...

I did not notice this in your post, but Horace Boyer played a major role in editing the hymnal, "Lift every voice and sing". I knew him from special events in Mississippi, and his presence will be sorely missed.