Gospel music legend to perform at Seth Boyden benefit

Milton Biggham

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Legendary gospel singer, songwriter and producer Rev. 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 p.m. in the Columbia High School Auditorium to benefit Seth Boyden Elementary.

Led by Biggham, a choir of some 20 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.

Biggham said in a release that the concert will not only teach about the art form but also convey its buoyant energy.

“This music brings happiness,” he said. “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, Grammy Award-winner Biggham has composed more than 500 songs, including the Top 10 gospel hits “I’m Blessed” and “What He’s Done for Me.” He has been senior pastor of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark since 1993. Biggham is also a Seth Boyden parent; his son, Courage, is a second-grader at the school.

“Imagine the PTA’s thrill,” PTA Co-president Rachel Fisher said in the release, “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. Admission is charged. Tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2850069 or can be purchased at the door.