Boys Choir of Harlem


Were we really going to be able to have a school, or just a choir and only be concerned about singing and making music? We had to do more. We work with their families. That's what we do. It's more than a choir. Lives have been saved

Walter Turnbull, L.A. Times, 10 February 1996

The Boys Choir of Harlem was 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 group. Drawn from children in the neighborhood, the majority of the choir’s members were African American or Hispanic. The choir established a professional school incorporating a regular academic curriculum, the Choir Academy of Harlem. It was supervised by the New York City Department of Education; at its peak, it had a student body of over 500 boys and girls. Performers received rigorous voice training and performed many types of music, including classical, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, and gospel music. The choir was internationally known. Over 150,000 people saw the choir live each year across the United States as well as in Canada, France, Japan, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.