WMU News

Prominent Afro-musicologist to lead series sessions

Oct. 23, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- A nationally known Afro-musicologist will present a series of lectures and demonstrations in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area Monday through Friday, Nov. 3-7, as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Expert in Residence Program.

Dr. Horace C. Boyer, professor of music theory and African American music at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will speak at Western Michigan University, Albion College, Kellogg Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, local schools and other venues (SEE SCHEDULE ON BACK). All events are free and open to the public.

His visit is being coordinated by Dr. Benjamin C. Wilson, WMU professor of black Americana studies, who has brought Boyer to the campus several times for a music festival he organizes during African American History Month in February.

Boyer will address a variety of topics during his 14 appearances in the area, including: the difference between rural and urban blues; the impact of blues or gospel and rhythm and blues; the effects of black music on the British music invasion of the 1960s and 1970s; the growth of black gospel music and the slow demise of the "negro" spiritual; and the "blues-ization" and "gospel-ization" of jazz.

Boyer's background includes experiences as a musical director, performer, researcher, clinician and lecturer. Since 1978, he has led the Vocal Jazz and African American Music Ensemble at the University of Massachusetts. He has performed across the country as well as internationally as a soloist, with his brother, James, as the Boyer Brothers and with Trade Winds, a faculty jazz ensemble at the University of Massachusetts.

The author of more than 40 articles for professional music journals, Boyer wrote the 1995 book, "How Sweet the Sound -- the Golden Age of Gospel." He has given clinics and lectures at many colleges and universities and recently was a presenter on the PBS special, "The History of Gospel."

For more information, persons may contact Wilson at 616 387-2667.

Schedule for Dr. Horace C. Boyer

Monday, Nov. 3

Tuesday, Nov. 4

Wednesday, Nov. 5

Thursday, Nov. 6

Friday, Nov. 7

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400