PAUL THORBOURNE B. Arch. MJIA (b.1950)
Born on October 15, 1950, in Kingston, Paul Thorbourne had his early education at Half Way Tree Primary and Wolmers High School for Boys. During this time, he studied piano and earned music certificates from the Royal School of Music up to Grade 5 piano and Grade 6 in voice. He later attended The City College of New York where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture.
Although an Architect by profession, Paul was always involved in some form of musical activity throughout his life. He was a chorister with a number of choirs starting with the Wolmers Combined Boys & Girls Choir, directed by the late Sydney Morris and Hazel Lawson Street, and is a featured soloist on their “Concert 68” album. He also toured with the United Nations Singers including a trip to Japan while studying in New York in the early nineteen seventies.
On his return to Jamaica in 1975, Paul joined the Methodist Chorale and eventually became the Assistant Director responsible for directing and accompanying the choir for the more contemporary sections of their programs. He did this for over thirty years, taking a leave of absence to become the Musical Director/Arranger for the gospel band, Branches of the Vine for which he composed and arranged much of their repertoire.
Between 2000 and 2003 Paul worked in Washington, DC where he sang with the Metropolitan Chorus, a choir that included in their schedule an annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.
His compositions which mainly consist of Christian and Gospel music, include:
* “My God” (an adaptation of Psalm 46) available in sheet music and published in the contemporary hymnal ‘Let us Sing’.
* “The Heavens Declare” (an adaptation of Psalm 19) – available on CD and MP3 format.
* “Lord of the Heavens”, a Christmas Carol written for the Providence Chapel Choir – available in sheet music format.
* “If He did not Rise Again” written for the Methodist Chorale and available in sheet music and mp3 formats.
* Eight of nine gospel songs written for ‘Branches of the Vine’ and featured on their solo album ‘Are you Connected?’ available on CD and MP3 format.
* “On Christ the Solid Rock” written for the Methodist Chorale and available on sheet music and mp3 formats.