Publication Information

From Plantation Melodies Old and New arrangement of the tune, "Joshua Fit de Battle ob Jerico" (1901)

Original Listing

Paul Laurence Dunbar, An Ante-bellum Sermon

Biographical Information

(1866-1949) Harry Thacker "H.T." Burleigh was an African American composer, arranger, and performer. He learned plantation melodies from his maternal grandfather, who had been a slave. Burleigh won an 1892 scholarship to the National Conservatory of Music in New York, which was then headed by Dvorak. With the urging of Dvorak, he began to publish African American spirituals in 1911. In 1916, he published his collection Jubilee Songs of the United States. His collection was so well-received that he started writing his own songs, along with choral and chamber compositions — over 200 works in all. Additionally, Burleigh was the baritone soloist for St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York from 1894 to 1946 and won acclaim as a recitalist, sometimes accompanying himself on piano. He toured Europe and gave performances for royalty. He actively performed until 1946.