Nathaniel Gumbs

Categories: Class of 2024, Current Board Members

Nathaniel Gumbs is a native of the Bronx, NY and has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including Antigua, St. Thomas, Ghana, Paris, and Munich, and is consistently gathering new fans and followers. The New York Times described Nathaniel’s playing in their review of his recording with bass-baritone Dashon Burton, as “mature, lyrical, accurate and energetic,” and that his performance was presented “deftly and with feeling.”

Dr. Gumbs currently serves as Director of Chapel Music at Yale University where he works with students, faculty, and guests to coordinate music for three worshiping communities: the University Church in Battell Chapel, and at Yale Divinity School in both Marquand Chapel and at Berkeley Divinity School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, his Master of Music degree from Yale University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. Nathaniel’s principal teachers include Steven Cooksey, David Higgs, and Martin Jean.

Prior to his position at Yale, Dr. Gumbs served as Director of Music and Arts and Church Organist at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, where he led several hundred volunteer musicians and staff in four choirs and other ensembles. Nathaniel currently serves as the Interim Minister of Music and Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY.

In 2017 The Diapason magazine recognized Nathaniel as one of 20 outstanding organists under 30 years old for his achievement in organ performance and church music. In 2018, Nathaniel curated the opening Hymn Festival (Singing Diverse Music in The New Church) for the Hymn Society’s annual conference. He is also featured on various recording projects through GIA publications with James Abbington, choral projects with award winning conductor Jason Max Ferninand, and recordings of revised choral works by Margaret Bonds with NY Philharmonic’s Chorus Director, Malcolm Merriweather. Most recently, Dr. Gumbs is a contributing composer in Pulling Out The Stops, Volume 3, Congregational Song Accompaniments for Organ, published by Augsburg Fortress.