On Thursday October 29, 2009, the Black Voice News will
host a lecture and book signing with distinguished religious music scholar and choral
director James Abbington. Co-sponsored by the Gospel Music History Project and
the University of California, Riverside’s Department of Ethnic Studies and
African Student Programs, the special engagement will take place at UCR’s new
Highlander Union Building (HUB) in Room 302 South at 7pm.
An Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship at the Candler School of Theology,
Emory University in Atlanta, Dr. Abbington is also the Executive Editor of GIA
Publishers’ African American Church Music Series and has served as the musical
co-director of the legendary Hampton University Ministers’ and Musicians’ Conference
According to Dr. Daniel E. Walker, Founding Director
of the Gospel Music History Project and Research Associate at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the
University of Southern California, “Dr. Abbington is a real heavyweight when it
comes to the study and performance of Black Sacred Music.” Added Dr. Dylan Rodriguez,
chair of UCR’s Department of Ethnic Studies, “I hope we can keep co-sponsoring
and endorsing this type of work. It is vital and inspiring.”
The former National Director of Music for both the Progressive
National Baptist Convention and the NAACP, Dr. Abbington holds an undergraduate
degree in Music from Morehouse College and a Masters of Music and Doctorate of Musical
Arts from the University of Michigan.
An acclaimed performer, recording artist, and passionate presenter,
his skills as an organist, conductor, arranger, and educator are unparalleled.
As Rickerby Hinds, Associate Professor of Playwriting at UCR,
comments, “It is very seldom that you get someone of Dr. Abbington’s status who
makes the connection between theory and practice. He not only teaches it, he lives
Previously a Professor of Music in the Department of Fine Arts
at Morgan State University, Dr. Abbington was also the former Chair of the
Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Among his publications include; Let Mt. Zion Rejoice! Music in
the African American Church (Judson Press) and Readings in African American
Church Music and Worship (GIA). He is also an associate editor for the
best-selling African American Heritage Hymnal (GIA).
During his visit to UCR Dr. Abbington will be speaking on his
new work Let the Church Sing On: Reflections
on Black Sacred Music. The book explores “TheSpiritual”, “Pioneering and Contemporary
Hymn Writers”, and “Pastoral Considerations and Worship Resources.” In the
words of Kenneth Simons, Director of African Student Programs, “Get ready to be
educated and inspired!”
For more information contact the African Student Programs
Office at (951) 827-4576.