We hate to be a killjoy during this time of all times, but did anyone notice that the Boys Choir of Harlem has disbanded? They have been getting plenty of requests to perform, so obviously no one knew they were no longer in existence. According to the New York Times, there last official performance was in 2007. The founder of the choir, Walter J. Turnbull, died that same year. The choir was riddled with financial difficulty, including a lawsuit from a sexual abuse case that was filed in 2001. A 14-year old choir member at the time, said that a counselor for the choir “sexually molested him.”
But Turnbull, turned his head to the situation and allowed the counselor to remain on staff. In 1988, the Girls Choir of Harlem was started and neither choir has generated the monies to pull them out of financial straits. The lawsuit, the IRS, the mountain of bills remain. The choir after 40 years in existence, couldn’t even salute the first black President with a song. They had been dismantled.
The Boys Choir of Harlem is a brilliant string of voices that came together to better not only their musical talent, but help them grow and mature into responsible citizens by the time they left the choir. The class and scholarly presentation of the choir was just as well known to the world as their sound. That’s right, I said, “the world.” That is what makes this dilemma that much more baffling. Why is it that this world renowned choir could not find financial backing to keep them afloat. There’s plenty of rap stars and celebrity that hail from the same part of town as the choir yet somehow the choir was unable to gather funds from anywhere.
Read the full report on the demise, but hopefully, soon revived national treasure.