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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Archives & Special Collections: Buffalo Youth & Young Adult Choral Society

The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center

Buffalo Youth & Young Adult Choral Society Papers [1970-2000]

The materials in this collection were assembled by Mr. And Mrs. George “Buddy” Davis.  They were associated with the Buffalo Choral Society from the beginning.  They gleaned materials from longtime members of their organization who kept some of the Society’s records.  Mr. Davis, who is an officer in the national society, has promised to raise the history question at the next national convention (which is scheduled for Buffalo).  He hopes to convince other branch leaders to preserve their historical records.  Back in the 1950s and 1960s there was a national push in African American communities to get the youth involved with gospel music.  Many of the community groups that were formed for that purpose are still around.  The Buffalo State College Monroe Fordham Regional History Center has offered to assist the national parent body of the Choral Society in the effort to preserve documents pertaining to its history and the history of its branches.

The materials in this collection were organized, indexed and prepared for microfilming by Monroe and Freddie Mae Fordham.  The papers were microfilmed by Buffalo State College student, Kelly Allen.  Kelly was paid from a New York State grant.

-Monroe Fordham, 10/2003

Buffalo Youth & Young Adult Choral Society, A Short History

The Supervisors Guild of Buffalo Youth and Young Adult Choral Society was organized in 1958-1959 with approximately seven members in the home of the late Rosalie Henry. The purpose of the Guild was to supervise, guide and assist the youth. Also, to travel with the children both locally and out of town when presenting programs and attending the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc., under the leadership of Professor Thomas A. Dorsey. Presidents: Mother Sarah Parham (deceased), Mrs. Mary Jackson and Mr. George "Buddy" Davis, II, Mrs. Gertrude Johnson, presiding.

The Supervisor Guild in 1971 spearheaded the purchasing of property at 279 Guilford Street, which was owned and operated by the Buffalo Youth and Young Adult Choir Society, Inc. This was accomplished by their own personal money.

On Sunday, February 7th of 1982, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of their home, Guilford Hall, with a banquet and had as our guest speaker, the late Rev. Horace Billy Johnson, and at this gala affair, many financial pledges were made and paid by Supervisors, Youth Department, Parent Body and our many sincere "well-wishers" to help us beautify our "home". A total, $7,000.00 was paid and the beautifications began in May of that year and was completed.

Short Timeline

  • 1958 - Annual Mock Convention
  • 1963 - Incorporated changing the name from Buffalo Youth Department to Buffalo Youth and Young Adult Choral Society Incorporated. Duty chartered by New York State.
  • Recordings 1963, 1964 and 1966.
  • Hosted National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in:
    • 1955 First Shiloh Baptist Church
    • 1966 Friendship Baptist Church and New Covenant United Church of Christ
    • 1984 Hyatt Regency and Convention Center
    • 1976 Statler Hilton Hotel
  • 1971 - Purchased our Home Guilford Hall - 279 Guilford Street
    • Burned the mortgage in July 1974
  • Annual Awards Banquet.
  • 1994 and 2002 Hosted Great Lakes Regional of National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses
  • Youth Department Performances
    • 1999 - Orlando, Florida
    • 2000 - New Orleans, Louisiana
    • 2001 - Houston, Texas
    • 2002 - Nashville, Tennessee     ,
    • 2003 - Washington, D.C.


Downloadable Finding-Aid and Inventory

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