Walter Turnbull

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Dr. Walter Turnbull (19 July 1944 in Greenville, Mississippi – 23 March 2007) was an African American musician and the founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Turnbull graduated from Tougaloo College where he studied classical music and vocal performance.

He moved to New York City in 1968, and in addition to continuing his education at the Manhattan School of Music started to perform as a tenor with the New York Philharmonic. He also began teaching music at a Harlem church upon his arrival in New York. This church group eventually turned into a popular city choir and then eventually the internationally renowned Boys Choir of Harlem.

In 1999, he was awarded the 5th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities.[1]

He died on March 23, 2007 in a New York City hospital.[2] He had reportedly suffered a stroke months earlier.