MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Reverend Milton Biggham, gospel singer, songwriter and producer, 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 School.

Rev. Biggham is currently the Senior Pastor of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark and is also a Seth Boyden parent.

Also performing will be the Seth Boyden Chorus, who will sing a medley of spirituals directed by school music teacher Leah Van Doornik.

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According to event organizers, the concert will be led by Rev. Biggham and will include a choir of about twenty voices who "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 Gospel 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, stated event organizers.  

Rev. Biggham stated that the concert will not only teach about the art form but also convey its buoyant energy. “This music brings happiness.  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, Biggham has composed more than 500 songs, including the Top 10 gospel hits “I’m Blessed” and “What He’s Done for Me.”  He won Grammys for producing Rev. James Cleveland’s albums “Lord, Let Me Be an Instrument” (1980) and “Having Church” (1990), both on the Savoy label, which Biggham ran in the 1980s.  

A Georgia native, Biggham founded the Georgia Mass Choir in 1983 and directed it in the 1996 Disney movie “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston, for which he also served as Gospel Music Consultant. He has been Senior Pastor of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark since 1993.

Rev. Biggham's son Courage is a second-grader at Seth Boyden.  “Imagine the PTA’s thrill,” says PTA co-president Rachel Fisher, “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.

Tickets are $10 for children under 12, and $15 for adults, “The Story of Gospel." Tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2850069 or can be purchased at the door.