Boatner received his musical education at Western University (Kansas),
Boston Conservatory, and graduated from Chicago College of Music. Boatner
published his first arrangement, "Give Me Jesus" in 1918. Along with his
more than two hundred published arrangements of sprituals, he has written:
"Thirty Afro - American Choral Spirituals," "Sixteen Solo Spirituals for
Voice and Piano," "Spiritual Triumphant Old and New," and "Story of the
Spiritual: Thirty Spirituals and Their Origins." He was music director
of the National Baptist Convention (1925 - 1933), Dean of Music at Wiley
College, and operated the Edward Boatner Studio in New York City.
Perkins Holly, Ellistine. Biographies of Black Composers and Songwriters;
A Supplementary Textbook. Iowa:Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1990.