Banfield. Photo by Kelly Davidson.

In last Thursday’s (10/19) Boston Globe, James Sullivan writes, “To receive the President’s Call to Service Award, honorees are expected to have completed 4,000 hours of ‘extraordinary’ public service in their chosen field. The man who will accept one of this year’s prestigious honors from the Biden administration on Friday surely surpassed that benchmark years ago. A composer, educator, and author, Dr. Bill Banfield has served as a Pulitzer Prize judge for music and a researcher for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. A 1988 graduate of Boston University’s School of Theology, Banfield established the Africana Studies department in 2005 at Berklee College of Music, where he is now professor emeritus…. Banfield … will receive [the honor] at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. The ceremony will feature performances by the Boston Arts Academy Choir, the saxophonist Najee, and Banfield’s own Imagine Orchestra…. Banfield has written several books on the Black American musical experience, ranging from conversations with Black composers and essays on contemporary music to a biography of Pat Patrick, the longtime Sun Ra associate … Throughout his career, he has emphasized the connection between music and spirituality.”