Myron Samuel Ottley
Myron Samuel Ottley is a tenor, choir director, arranger, and producer who has been singing and conducting acclaimed choral ensembles since he was an early teenager. He is also a scientist with a Ph.D. who works at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a biologist and toxicologist, having graduated from the former Caribbean Union College, now the University of the Southern Caribbean, with an associate degree, Atlantic Union College with a bachelorís, and Howard University with a Ph.D.
Myron is the third of four children and the only son of Neville Ethelbert Ottley and Myra Eloise Grosvenor Ottley. A recipient of a rich musical inheritance from both sides of his ancestral and extended families, he grew up hearing his parents sing at home and in various churches. He was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and when he was two years old moved with the family to Southern California. He began singing at age five with his two older sisters in churches in the area, and continued when the family moved to Caribbean Union College in Trinidad.
As were all Ottley children, Myron was required to take piano lessons as a child, studying with his older sister, Nevilla. He also took voice from Vernon E. Andrews and as a teenager chose to study trombone and acoustic guitar from Vernon Roach.
When his voice changed as a teenager, he began arranging music and conducting vocal ensembles. His first group, the Golden Tones, included sixteen teenage boys in Trinidad who sang in as many as eight parts music arranged by Jim Wilson and conducted by Wesley Roach. At Atlantic Union College he sang with the select choirs, Koinonians and Aeolians, and played trombone in the college orchestra.
After graduation he moved to Maryland, where he sang tenor with the Sounds of Peace under the late Kathleen Woods, giving concerts in the mid-Atlantic states. He and his sister, Geraldine, founded the Soulseekers, a mixed choir of thirty college-age singers led by Myron. The group broke new ground in the 1970s with their versatility, singing a cappella, eight-part harmony, and contemporary gospel music creatively arranged by him and others. They toured in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean and released three recordings in their thirteen years.
In the mid-1980s, he was a member of the internationally famous Breath of Life Quartet and arranged music for the ensemble. He served as the Minister of Music of Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hyattsville, Maryland, from 2000-2002.
Ottley's most recent choral group first appeared publicly in 1999 and two years later was introduced formally as Metro 16. During the past decade the choir expanded to its present membership of over thirty mature voices, the result of his desire for a greater depth of sound.
That choir, now known as MetroSingers, was drawn largely from members of the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hyattsville, Maryland, and reflects the diversity of its congregation, with members from the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa. They recorded three CDs, Anchored, Limited Edition, and Journey; produced three DVDs; performed in the U.S.A. and abroad for churches, camp meetings, and SDA General Conferences; and appeared on the 3ABN and Hope Channel telecasts. Even though no longer active, they are on youtube.com, where they continue to receive accolades from around the world.
Myronís daughter, Jeuelle Melody Ottley Sam, a Howard University graduate Physicianís Assistant, is a member of one of Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Churchís six Praise Teams. His son, Anwar Gabriel Myron Ottley, a tenor, organist, pianist, and choir director and conductor, assisted with MetroSingers as an accompanist and assistant director.
A 2007 music graduate in organ performance from Washington Adventist University, Anwar earned an M.Mus. in conducting at Andrews University in 2010. In addition to serving as Director of Music at the Takoma Park, Maryland, SDA church and Director of Music at John Nevins Andrews Elementary School, Anwar had taught for 5 years at his aunt Nevilla Ottley-Adjahoe's Ottley Music School. He is now rehearsal conductor of the Masters Chorale of Washington, D. C.
Since 2003 Myron Ottley has co-headed Metropolitan Media Ministries (MMM), an expanded department of the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church. MMM produces audio and video recordings of church and other events as well as those of private artists. They recently began producing uplifting shows for television. Through MMMís live and on-demand internet broadcasts, their following is becoming more and more international through the ever-growing numbers of views in other lands.
Sources: Information provided by Nevilla Ottley-Adjahoe from contacts with Myron Ottley and in the Ottley School of Music website: biographical information about members of the Neville E. Ottley family, his ancestors and descendants; and a listing of OMSís faculty; MetroSingers.com, LinkedIn, and other online sources; "Songbirds and Pioneers, The Ottleys of Trinidad," Adventist World-NAD, May 2012, 38, 39.