Gospel Music Legend Rev. Milton Biggham To Headline Seth Boyden Benefit Concert on March 26
Legendary gospel singer, songwriter, and producer Reverend Milton Biggham will host an educational concert of historic and contemporary music, “The Story of Gospel: A Unique American Art Form,” on Sunday, March 26 at 4 pm in the Columbia High School Auditorium to benefit Seth Boyden Elementary.
Led by Rev. Biggham, a choir of some twenty voices will bring the audience on a journey through gospel music history in three movements: spirituals, traditional gospel, and contemporary gospel. The concert will highlight the American origins of the music and its critical role in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality, from its roots in slave spirituals to its flourishing in the 1950s onward to its continued popularity today. The Seth Boyden Chorus will perform a medley of spirituals directed by school music teacher Leah Van Doornik.
Rev. Biggham says that the concert will not only teach about the art form but also convey its buoyant energy. “This music brings happiness. It is just so much fun, and those of you who come to the concert will experience that.”
In over 40 years in the music industry, Biggham has composed more than 500 songs, including the Top 10 gospel hits “I’m Blessed” and “What He’s Done for Me.” He won Grammys for producing Rev. James Cleveland’s albums “Lord, Let Me Be an Instrument” (1980) and “Having Church” (1990), both on the Savoy label, which Biggham himself ran in the 1980s. A Georgia native, he founded the Georgia Mass Choir in 1983 and directed it in the 1996 Disney movie “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston, for which he also served as Gospel Music Consultant. With Biggham as principal singer, the Georgia Mass Choir received a Grammy nomination in 1995 for Best Gospel Album and performed at the 1996 Olympics. Biggham produced the 2001 Lou Rawls solo album “I’m Blessed” and is credited with discovering singers Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin, both of whom are currently on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. He has been Senior Pastor of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark since 1993.
Rev. Biggham is also a Seth Boyden parent: His son Courage is a second-grader at the school. “Imagine the PTA’s thrill,” says PTA co-president Rachel Fisher, “when we learned that this gospel music celebrity was the father of a student, and that he would donate his time and talents to a benefit concert for the PTA!” The major sponsor for the event is the Vanessa Pollock Team of Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty.
With ticket prices of only $10 for children under 12 and $15 for adults, “The Story of Gospel” is meant to be accessible to everyone. Tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2850069 or can be purchased at the door.
NOTICE: The School District of South Orange and Maplewood does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectual or sexual orientation or sex, gender identity and expression, socio or economic status, or disability in its programs and activities. For further information, call the Office of Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481.