Celebrating Black History Month at Walnut Hill

February 18, 2021

“If it is to be, it is up to me,” those were the closing words of wisdom from Davron Monroe, one of our accomplished Black History Month Assembly speakers. This past Wednesday, award-winning Boston-based performers, Davron Monroe and Yewande Odetoyinbo, led Walnut Hill’s celebratory assembly focusing on themes of Black culture, resilience, joy, family, and Black excellence. It was inspiring to learn about their lives and careers, and especially to hear them sing.

In addition to their many performances, including "The Wiz;" "Ain’t Misbehavin’" and "Little Shop of Horrors" (Lyric Stage Co.).. Together, they performed in "Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes," a musical tale of faith, hope, and family that tells the remarkable and inspiring story of Roland Hayes one of America’s earliest African-American artists to break color barriers in the performance of classical repertoire.

The story of Roland Hayes has a special connection to Walnut Hill! His daughter, Afrika Hayes Lambe, has been an accompanist on the Hill for over 15 years. As a surprise guest, Mrs. Lambe joined the conversation from her home in Newton, Massachusetts and spoke briefly about her family’s musical legacy. Learn more about Afrika Hayes Lambe and her father Roland Hayes.

We are so thankful to Davron, Yewande, and Mrs. Lambe for sharing their joy, stories, wisdom, and talent with us. Enjoy the following duet "Poor Pilgrim", performed by Davron Monroe and Yewande Odetoyinbo, from "Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes."


  • Black History Month
  • diversity and inclusion