The first Gospel symphony the “Now Testament” stands as one of the few masterpieces of this century. It’s a sonic roller coaster, replete with breathtaking twists and turns, taking leaps from Genesis to the Rapture, all within a single album. J. Ivy skillfully pens poetry to narrate the masterful story of the Clotilda, paralleling it to the New and Old Testament journey. Its star-studded lineup showcases iconic artists ranging from gospel stalwart John P. Kee to opera virtuoso Raehann Bryce Davis of MET and Carnegie Hall fame. At times, you’ll find belting pop choruses featuring Kierra Sheard, while at others, you’ll witness once-in-a-lifetime collaborations with funk legend Bootsy Collins and gospel icon Dorinda Clark Cole. Throughout the album, you’ll encounter encouraging words that function as sermons, interwoven with moments of meditation. Leandria Johnson is paired with House DJ Terry Hunter and vogue commentators, transforming the club into a church, and Nicole Neely’s strings rise like tidal waves. Every song pushes the boundaries of creativity and genre, ensuring that this album will give you goosebumps. It’s more than just an album; it’s a cinematic experience encapsulating the essence of the modern black church.
The ‘tymple Yearbook’ meticulously traces the remarkable odyssey of HBCU culture through the perspective of Dr. Sir William James Baptist, a Grammy Award-winning artist, producer, and distinguished HBCU archivist. His profound commitment to unraveling the narrative of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) unfolds the rich fabric of history and culture, spanning from the aftermath of a global pandemic to the present day.
Within these archives, you’ll discover a captivating playlist featuring the ‘Urban Hymnal’ and ‘The Now Testament’ albums. This immersive archive also includes audio diaries that provide a detailed account of pivotal moments in tymple’s contribution to HBCU history, from producing and holding the masters for the first HBCU Marching band to win a Grammy to the inception of the first HBCU Symphony. This collection is complemented by a coffee table schoolbook album adorned with rich imagery, intimate photographs, treasured mementos, poignant production notes, and the original scores of each song. It offers an unfiltered, candid view of the HBCU realm and its exceptional talents. Within these pages, the yearbook vividly immortalizes the vibrant life of 15 HBCUs, leaving an indelible mark on education and culture.”
The HBCU Symphony is the first gospel ensemble dedicated to revitalizing Negro spirituals as modern classical hymns. The organization was founded to provide a platform for students and alumni to celebrate the roots of African-American culture. The Album “Now Testament” serves as the centerpiece to gospel, classical and hip hop genre.
The HBCU Symphony was founded by Dr. Sir William James Baptist on March 14, 2023 at 5:51pm as an ensemble and organization to support the advancement of music education, hands on practicum experience in the music industry, and funding efforts for students and music programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
With a mission to support student-musicians in all their endeavors, the HBCU Symphony aims to create and seek out professional opportunities in performance and education for HBCU students, directors, and alumni in an effort to increase HBCU visibility in all facets of the music industry. The HBCU Symphony is the first gospel ensemble dedicated to revitalizing Negro spirituals as modern classical hymns. It was founded to provide a platform to celebrate the roots of African-American culture.
Made up of HBCU student-musicians, directors, and alumni, the 2023-2024 Alpha class members of the HBCU Symphony came together with Dr. Baptist, best known as global artist, Sir the Baptist, and a list of decorated artists and producers, to create the NOW TESTAMENT, an unconventional, contemporary Gospel album, that is sure to continue the path set by Sir the Baptist and Tennessee State University, as a highly respected and decorated album.
Sir the Baptist and the tymple team were blessed to work with student-musicians made up of vocalists and instrumentalists, directors, and alumni representing 11 HBCUs across 5 states over the summer of 2023. Each person bringing their unique sound and soul to a project that is one of a kind. The HBCU Symphony Alpha Class Student-musician and director members represent North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Winston Salem State University, Shorter College, Arkansas Baptist College, Philander Smith University, Mississippi Valley State University, Fisk University, and Wilberforce University. Our alumni members represent North Carolina Central University, Elizabeth City State University, and Saint Augustine’s University.
Creating this album was the first experience as a member of the HBCU Symphony. Each live recording session wielded learning, creating, collaborating, networking, and a finished product that highlights Black music and continues to spread the Gospel. The album serves as the centerpiece to genres, and generations of black musicians and composers who attended black institutions.
The NOW TESTAMENT is just the beginning. It is our prayer that the HBCU Symphony grows as an ensemble and organization that partners with Black music programs to support the aims and goals of their students. We can only hope to help the advancement of music education while continuing to merge the music industry with practicum education.
The HBCU Symphony, will continue to build classes of HBCU students, directors, and alumni each year to participate in the creation and recording or music, film and television, symphony hall performances, and other professional opportunities.
Tymple Mastery Program: A classroom-studio experience that brings the recording process to the HBCU Symphony. Students contribute to industry music recordings while learning and improving on key skills in theory, arranging, vocal and instrumental performance, engineering, production, collaboration, and professional development
Family Experience: The HBCU Symphony extends professional and educational opportunities to alumni musicians in an effort to build another level of support and visibility for HBCU music. The alumni experience continues to cultivate and support HBCU Symphony members well after graduation. In an effort to extend our reach, the HBCU Symphony aims to have partnerships with businesses, organizations, and persons of HBCU alumni status.
Professional opportunities: The HBCU Symphony aims to facilitate opportunities in the music industry for it members to be paid artists an/or contributors. Focusing on opportunities in live performance, touring, scoring, arranging, studio session work, instrumental and vocal recording.
Music & Lyrics by tymple or Baptist Publishing House
Produced by tymple
Recorded at tymple Recording, US