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FEBRUARY 29, 1928 - NOVEMBER 5, 1994

McHenry Boatwright was a native of Tenielle, GA and studied piano and voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, graduating in 1954. After a successful debut at Tanglewood in 1953, where Leonard Bernstein heard him, he was invited to sing at the New York Philharmonic. Boatwright’s career encompassed recital, solo orchestral performances, and staged opera. Boatwright sang at the White House for the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter, and he was the recipient of important music prizes: two Marian Anderson Awards, and first-place winner in the National Federation of Music Clubs competition. Notably, in 1956, Mr. Boatwright sang the lead role in Clarence Cameron White’s Ouanga, presented by the National Negro Opera Company at the Metropolitan Opera House, a historical event of distinction almost completely untold in the American classical vocal arts narrative. He was a member of the Hamburg Opera in Germany. He sang the role of Crown in the first complete recording of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. On the recommendation of Marian Anderson, Boatwright joined the voice faculty of Ohio State University where he was professor emeritus in the School of Music until the time of his death. McHenry Boatwright produced the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts in New York and London in 1982 and was married to Ruth Ellington, the sister of Duke Ellington.

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