Paul Laurence Dunbar, Lullaby
(1846-1916) William Wallace Gilchrist was a composer and vocalist born in Jersey City, New Jersey, before moving to Philadelphia at the age of 9. Gilchrist was a soprano in choruses before his voice developed into a smooth baritone. He sang the principal parts in the oratorios of the Handel and Haydn Society. In 1865, he studied organ, voice, and theory with H.A. Clarke, gradually concentrating on theory. He spent 1870 in Cincinnati as an organist and teacher, then went to Philadelphia to take the post of choirmaster at St. Clement’s Protestant Episcopal Church. He became head of voice instruction at the Philadelphia Academy in 1882. He directed Philadelphia musical organizations including the Mendelssohn Club, which he founded in 1874; it remains active today. In 1884, he took the prize of $1,000 offered by the Cincinnati Festival Association, the judges of which were Saint-Saens, Reinicke, and Theodore Thomas.
Gilchrist, William Wallace, "Southern Lullaby" (1897). Dunbar Music Archive. 110.