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Founder's song silenced: Walter Turnbull gave Boys Choir of Harlem something to sing about.



WITH HIS STUDENTS SINGING EVERYTHING FROM Bach to hip-hop and globetrotting from Harlem to Japan, Dr. Walter J. Turnbull, founder of the internationally acclaimed Boys Choir of Harlem The Boys Choir of Harlem (also known as the Harlem Boys Choir) is a choir located in Harlem, New York City, United States.

Founded in 1968 by Dr. Walter Turnbull at the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church in Harlem, the choir grew to be more than just a performing
, built a triumphant franchise that is now struggling to survive. Turnbull, 62, died March 25, of complications from cancer and a stroke.

Turnbull used his own money to start the choir in 1968 in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
. The choir quickly grew, teaching young boys and girls boys and girls

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 from Harlem the benefit of discipline and hard work. In 1995, Turnbull partnered with the New York City Department of Education The New York City Department of Education is the branch of municipal government in New York City that manages the city's public school system. The school system these schools form is the largest system in the United States. Over 1.  to open the Choir Academy of Harlem, a school whose curriculum was based on Boys Choir of Harlem philosophy and methodology.

David N. Dinkins, former New York City mayor and newly elected BCH BCH Beach
BCH Banco Central de Honduras
BCH Boot Console Handler
BCH Boulder Community Hospital (Boulder, CO, USA)
BCH Broadcast Channel
BCH Belfast City Hospital
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 board chair, points out that the school excelled academically. "[The choir academy] did better than the citywide average in graduation rates," says Dinkins, crediting Turnbull. "He had the capacity to instill in young people and their parents that they can achieve anything--and they did."

Despite the successes of the choir and academy, Turnbull came under fire for not immediately reporting a student's charge of sexual abuse by a Boys Choir of Harlem employee in 2001. The choir took a direct financial hit, and the city of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 severed its ties. evicting the choir from the academy building.

"The media tried to define Dr. Turnbull as this bad person who didn't know what he was doing after 35 years of positively affecting over 7,000 lives and certainly representing this city, country, and our community particularly well," says his brother, Horace Turnbull.

Despite the efforts of Dinkins, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and former President Bill Clinton, the future of the BCH is in jeopardy as a result of unresolved debt, reduced staff. and lagging financial support. The Choir Academy of Harlem has partnered with St. Hope Academy, a nonprofit started by former NBA NBA
abbr.
1. National Basketball Association

2. National Boxing Association

NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (=
 player Kevin Johnson, to help revitalize the struggling 500-student K-12 public school.

"He started with nothing," says Terrance Wright, former member, assistant conductor, and choreographer for the BCH, referring to Turnbull's upbringing in extreme poverty. "It seems we're back at the same place with nothing."
COPYRIGHT 2007 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:IN MEMORIAM
Author:Wade, Marcia A.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:367
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