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Music in the Mansion: Southern Gospel in Rutherford County

Oakland Mansion (Parlor) - 900 North Maney Avenue, Murfreesboro

Oaklands Mansion is excited to offer this program on southern gospel music in the mansion in honor of Rutherford County Heritage Month.

Did you know that the popular Christmas song, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” was written in a dairy barn in Rutherford County in 1938 by Mr. Robert Fisher Boyce. The Murfreesboro grocer at 912 ½ West Main Street composed both the words and melody of this well-known gospel song. It and other songs will be explored by Dr. Stephen Shearon, professor in the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University. Shearon will be the featured speaker at Oaklands’s “Music in the Mansion” series.

Focusing especially on gospel convention-singing, gospel songs, and shape-note singing schools in Rutherford County in the mid-twentieth century, Shearon will be assisted by Rutherford County residents Mr. Key Dillard, founder and director of the Do Re Mi Gospel Music Academy (a shape-note singing school near Hartsville), and Mr. Seth Gregory, General Music Teacher and Director of Choirs at Siegel Middle School (Murfreesboro) and a singing-school teacher.
Guests should come expecting to hear southern gospel quartet performances of some of the songs discussed (led by Mr. Gregory), to be regaled by Mr. Dillard’s personal recollections of singing conventions in mid-twentieth-century Middle Tennessee, and to learn something about shape-notes. They will also be invited to join in the singing.
Tickets to the program are $15.00 per person. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Reservations can be made by email at or by calling (615) 893-0022.

Earlier Event: October 22
Latin Family Concert
Later Event: October 26
Songs For Sound Hearing Screening