April 01, 2009
Jubilee College of Music Dean and Professor Dr. Merril Smoak took part in the William Walker Memorial Singing at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 14-15.
William Walker (1809-1875) was a Christian song leader and compiler who was also the first person to put together the text and tune of “Amazing Grace” as we sing it today. This year marks the 200th birthday of William Walker.
Dr. Smoak was invited to the events honoring William Walker by Dr. Harry Eskew, a leading authority on Walker’s life and works. Guests participated in a “shape note” singing at Wofford College celebrating William Walker’s life and his contribution to church music. They also held a worship service at the Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg, during which Dr. Smoak, who wrote his Master’s Thesis on a music book published by William Walker titled Southern Harmony, led some of the music.
The singing is an annual event at Wofford to honor William Walker.