In Memoriam

Horace Clarence Boyer (1935-2009)

Horace Clarence Boyer, professor emeritus of music at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has died at the age of 73.

Professor Boyer was a native of Winter Park, Florida. Both of his parents were ministers in the Church of God in Christ. He sang in the church choir at an early age and developed a love of gospel music. He toured the nation with his brother James, performing gospel music in 40 states.

Professor Boyer was a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, the historically black educational institution in Daytona Beach, Florida. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Dr. Boyer joined the UMass faculty in 1973 and taught music there for more than a quarter-century until his retirement in 1999. Previously he taught at Albany State University, Brevard Community College, and Florida Technological University. From 1985-87, Dr. Boyer served as curator of musical instruments at the National Museum of Musical History in the Smithsonian. He was the author of the 1995 book How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel Music.