Why We Sing: Roger

Here’s the second in a series about members of the Spirituals Choir, why we sing and how we got here. C’mon, all you past and present singers: let’s hear from you!

Roger Thayer: I met Jim Thomas 40 years ago in the Paul Hill Chorale in Washington, D.C,, where we sang many, many concerts in the Kennedy Center. Jim was one of our star soloists. Then I was pleased to meet him again at the Vineyard Haven ilbrary, where he lectured on the slaves and African memorabilia. He and Georgia Franklin invited me to attend a meeting in her living room, where we started the NAACP Spirituals Choir which preeceded Jim’s USSSP.

I will sing as long as my voice holds out.


Jim Thomas (left) leads the choir.

The Spirituals Choir at East Chop Light, July 2012. That’s Roger in the yellow shirt, seated, over toward the right.




Filed under MV Spirituals Choir

2 responses to “Why We Sing: Roger

  1. Lorna

    Susanna and others, I just want to clarify: the story Roger Thayer told is not totally accurate with the birthing of the Spirituals Choir for the NAACP, which started in 2004, and the first home meeting with me on the Executive board was at my home in Edgartown. I was the co-founder with Jim for the NAACP Spirituals Choir.
    I requested Georgia Franklin to ask Jim if he would be interested in directing a choir for our MV NAACP because we had always had a youth choir, and for several years now we had none.
    Jim was the choir director and I was the director for the NAACP business.
    I chaired all the business and coordinated meeting space, travel, refreshments, printing, etc., for the NAACP Spirituals Choir, as well as gave monthly reports to our NAACP Chapter! I also recruited some of you in our choir — for example, Heather Rynd.
    Dr. Lorna Andrade,
    Former vice president of MV NAACP

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