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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Newman Center for the Performing Arts


M. Roger Holland, II

M. Roger Holland, II

Teaching Assistant Professor
, Ethnomusicology
Director, The Spirituals Project

Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Room 337

[email protected]

M. Roger Holland, II is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he received the Master of Divinity degree and also served as Artist-in-Residence and director of the Gospel Choir for more than 13 years. He received a master's degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, also in New York, and completed his undergraduate work at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where he majored in Music Education with a concentration in piano and voice. While at Westminster he founded and conducted a student group called The Collegiate Ensemble. This group performed both on and off campus with a repertoire that included gospel music and spirituals. Roger was also a member of the Westminster Singers, a performing ensemble of about 30 auditioned voices and he also accompanied the Westminster Choir to Spoleto, Italy in 1987. He won the Lorena Hood Fenn Piano Competition at Westminster in 1986, was included in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities for 1986 and the National Dean's List in 1987. He has toured nationally and internationally with The Boys Choir of Harlem and has worked with them as a conductor, pianist, instructor and arranger. He arranged several traditional carols for the choirs' holiday CD, Christmas with The Boys Choir of Harlem and wrote and arranged for their last recordings, The Boys Choir of Harlem Sings America and We Shall Overcome. In 1998 Roger produced the single "God Bless Us Everyone" from A Christmas Carol at the Paramount Theater in N.Y.C. featuring Roger Daltrey and The Boys Choir of Harlem. He is the former Director of Artistic Education for their school.

Roger produced Our Lady of Charity Mass Choir's first recording, entitled Never Give Up, for which he wrote the title track as well as five other original songs. He also conducted the Charity Mass Choir with orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in a performance of Handel's oratorio Messiah. Roger served as Minister of Music at Our Lady of Charity Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York for 12 years and is Liturgical Music Consultant for the Office of Black Ministry in the Archdiocese of New York and Music Director for their special masses at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Roger also served as the Minister of Music at the historic St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, NY. He resumed his position in 2012 as the Minister of Worship and Christian Arts at Calvary Baptist Church in Jamaica, New York, a post he held previously for nine years. In 2001, he wrote and produced for artist Danny Coakley on his CD A Dream Fulfilled. He has accompanied several local NY groups, including the Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble and has played for the Broadway production of Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple as well as the Tony Award-winning show, Memphis. His group, Tribe of Levi, a small vocal chamber group, has performed at Lincoln Center, Aaron Davis Hall, the New York Historical Society and has shared the stage with BeBe Winans and Kirk Whalum. As a clinician, he has presented workshops at numerous jazz festivals, McDonald's Gospelfest, local churches, the Hampton University Ministers' Conference, Unity Explosion-Region X, the Rivers Institute and the Lyke Conference. Roger has also joined the faculty of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University. He is the Founder and former Artistic Director for the Queens Symphony Orchestra Youth Gospel Choir, and panel member for the New York State Council on the Arts. H-Factor Music, the publishing company Roger started in year 2000, distributes his many choral arrangements, primarily sacred works. His work is also published by OCP and GIA Publications, Inc. His first commissioned work, a multi movement composition written for woodwind quintet, mixed voices in five parts, rhythm section and percussion, entitled "The Dream and The Dreamer" was premiered on Martin Luther King's birthday in 2004 by the Rejoicensemble! In 2005 he was commissioned by The Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation to be composer-in-residence and arrange the spiritual "Down By The River" for their 9th Annual competition and gala. In 2008 The Tribulation Suite, a four-movement work based on Negro Spirituals and scored for Soloists, Mixed Choir, Piano, Strings, English Horn, French Horn and Percussion, was commissioned and premiered at Penn State by Essence of Joy, Anthony Leach, director. The Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed The Tribulation Suite in March 2015. His most recent commission was at the behest of Dr. Carl MaultsBy and the Rejoicensemble!, for whom he wrote "The Call" on the occasion of their 25th anniversary season. The work was premiered June 2010. Other recent works include "The Sound of My People" and "Welcome Table: A Mass of Spirituals" with Kim R. Harris, liturgical Mass settings written for the Revised Order of Mass as found in the Roman Missal, Third Edition. Both Mass settings are published by GIA. A concert version of Welcome Table was recently premiered by the St. Joseph Symphony Orchestra in St. Joseph, MO.

As a vocalist, Roger has sung the tenor solos in Messiah with the Hampton University Concert Choir in Hampton, Virginia and with The Boys Choir of Harlem at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Roger was a featured vocalist with jazz pianist, the late James Williams with his group the Intensive Care Unit and recorded two CDs on Evidence Records entitled Truth, Justice and the Blues and We've Got What You Need!. A featured vocalist on The Boys Choir of Harlem's recording Up In Harlem on Unencumbered Records, he is also a former member of the Boys Choir of Harlem alumni group "Images" and has recorded a solo demo of original R & B music. His recording of original gospel and liturgical music released in 2014 is entitled, Building Up the Kingdom, through GIA Publications, Inc. It features the single, "Worthy God." The first volume of his most recent project, "Honey from the Rock," a collection of Entrance and Communion Antiphons for the church year, will be released the summer of 2016. Volume 2 is slated for release in early 2017.