Sunday, November 7, 2010

'Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society' Heard by 2,000 at Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC in 1903

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor]

The Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) and the African American baritone Henry “Harry” Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949) are mentioned in two historical accounts of the first concert of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society in 1903, two years after it was founded. The program included The Song of Hiawatha.
(courtesy of member Thelma Dean Jacobs)
An inaugural concert of Washington, DC's 'Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society' was hosted. The Society, named for the Afro-British composer, featured his oratorio 'Hiawatha' with soloists and orchestra in this Washington debut. Harry Thacker Burleigh was a soloist and Metropolitan's Professor John Layton was choir director.”

Black Mahler: The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Story is a biography by Charles Elford, published in 2008 by Grosvenor House Publishing, Ltd. We have written about it previously. The book's website confirms the historical account of the Metropolitan AME Church:
In addition to existing teaching, writing, composing, adjudicating and performance engagements, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor also takes on the role of Professor of Composition at Trinity College of Music in London and the role of conductor to the Handel Society. 23rd April, 2000 crowd into the Metropolitan African Methodist Church in Washington to hear the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society sing The Song of Hiawatha.” “Coleridge-Taylor starts subsidising the Croydon Symphony Orchestra to ensure its survival. Jessie gives birth to a girl, Gwendolen.”

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