Harry T. Burleigh

From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance


Chapter 3: Burleigh's Music Experience and Training in Erie


Figure 1
  Figure 1: St. Paul's Men and Boys Choir—page 47—Surpliced choir first performed October 11, 1885—The Erie Morning Dispatch reported, "Marked interest was manifested by the congregation on each occasion, and a favorable impression evidently produced.... At the opening of each service the voices of the choir were heard in the distance, swelling in volume as the members approached the auditorium with measured tread and impressive mien. The little songsters followed the adults filled the [vaulted] arch with sacred and inspiring melody. Miss Beebe's fine organ tones added greatly to the effect, while the accompanying responses and chants served to make truly congregational worship." "The Surpliced Choir," EMD, Oct. 12, 1885.  

Figure 2
  Figure 2: May 7, 1885, recital program by Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño, who was Edward MacDowell's teacher—page 51. MacDowell's mother, Frances MacDowell, was Carreño's traveling companion. When Burleigh auditioned at the National Conservatory of Music seven years later, Mrs. MacDowell was the conservatory registrar. She intervened to help Burleigh in his application for a scholarship to the Artist's Course at the conservatory, and Burleigh worked with her in the conservatory office. Program courtesy of Dr. Laura Pita.  




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