Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

May 8, 2014

Knoxville tenor Boyce in concert May 18 in PH

CROSSVILLE — The Boyce family has been part of Pleasant Hill history since 1908. Honoring that long heritage and coupling it with local history, an event titled “A Love Affair with History” will headline the tenor virtuoso, Stephen Boyce, in concert on Sunday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ.

Boyce’s repertoire ranges through sacred, classical, popular and “old timey” music. Familiar tunes will have the audience singing or humming along. Steve Boyce is native to Cumberland County and considers it home, but has lived in Knoxville for 38 years. He is active in the Knoxville music scene and has been a tenor soloist in past performances for the Knoxville Symphony, Knoxville Opera and Knoxville Choral Society’s concerts. He is cantor for St. John’s Cathedral, the East Tennessee Diocese Cathedral and owns and operates two music stores in Knoxville that provide school band specialty services for schools all over East Tennessee. Boyce is a long time member of East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Band Association and Tennessee Secondary School Band Directors Association. Steve’s wife, Patsy, teaches anatomy and physiology at Carson Newman College.

Rather than the usual “reception,” Historical Society members will celebrate the “afternoon teas” often shared by Dr. May Cravath Wharton and Miss Elizabeth Fletcher during intermission. It is fitting that this old-fashioned tea will be in Boyce Hall of the Pleasant Hill Community Church, which was named for the Boyce family in 1995 after its completion. Stephen Boyce is the third generation of Boyces who have played an important part in the life of Pleasant Hill. Alexander Boyce and his wife, Sally, were sent by the American Missionary Association to the Pleasant Hill Academy. Alexander served as business manager of the Academy from 1908 through 1912. They returned to the Academy in 1920 with their son William (Bill).

Bill, after graduating from the Pleasant Hill Academy in 1935 and Berea College, KY, in 1939, taught agriculture and managed farms at schools in Kentucky, Ohio and UT in Knoxville. He and his family returned to Pleasant Hill from 1947 to 1954, when Bill was appointed director of the Pleasant Hill Community Center and managed the Farmer’s Cooperative. Bill Boyce’s youngest son, Stephen, was born in Pleasant Hill and was an active member of the Cumberland County Playhouse during its beginning years. Steve was a student of the Bryant Academy, which was an outgrowth of Tennessee Technological University, and a graduate of Berea College in Kentucky. Just as his grandparents and parents were drawn back to Pleasant Hill, Steve annually returns to Pleasant Hill to give a concert in their memory and honor. Even more significant is the free-will offering, which will benefit Pioneer Hall Museum where he used to visit the office of his father as a child.


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