Art Songs of Harry T. Burleigh. Centaur Records, 1995. Program notes and texts enclosed. Regina McConnell, soprano, Michael Cordovana, Piano.
Perhaps best remembered for his numerous and highly successful arrangements of the African American spiritual, Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949) also composed more than 100 art songs, the first recognized black composer in the genre. As is evidenced in the selections on this CD, covering a range from 1904 to 1934, Burleigh's musical imagination seemed to be most often aroused by texts based on idealized romantic love. His art songs seldom show ethnic influences either in text or music, but you'll find African American poets in the pieces here: James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes, for example. If you enjoy romantic art song, you'll welcome this collection of 23 songs.
This CD sheds light on four gifted musicians of mixed African and European descent who were famous in their day, but are all but forgotten in our time. Carribean-born Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) was the son of a noble French plantation owner and an African slave. His vibrant 1775 Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 5, No. 2, displays an uncommon gift for melodic invention. A dramatic intensity and an almost romantic sensibility is found in the work of the Paris-born Chevalier J.J.O. de Meude-Monpas, who is represented here by the world-premier recording of his 1786 Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major. Joseph White (1839 - 1918) was born in Matanzas, Cuba, the son of a French businessman and an Afro-Cuban mother. He studied and Paris and became a concert sensation in Europe and Latin America. His 1864 Concerto in F-sharp Minor is a grandly virtuosic Romantic work. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was the son of a medical student from Sierra Leone and an Englishwoman. He was highly respected in the U.S. especially by cultured African-Americans, and was a White House guest of President Theodore Roosevelt. His sweetly nostaligic 1899 Romance in G Major is reminiscent of Dvorak, whom he idolized. As noted by the booklet essayist Mark Clague, none of these works use African-derived melodies or rhythmic signatures. Instead, they "seamlessly adopt the traditions and tropes of the Western European concert tradition. "
The works here combine formal European classical structures with African-American styles, essentially jazz. Of the two song cycles, "Dream Variations" (settings of poetry by Langston Hughes) and "The Shadow of Dawn" (settings of poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar) I preferred the latter, and felt the music perfectly captured the essence of the words, as if both flowed from the same hand. But my favorite works were the Six Preludes for Piano - so much so that I hit the back button and listened to the entire set again before moving on. The CD closes with an arrangement of "Wade in the Water" for jazz quartet.
In this profound study of America's persistent racial divide, Molefi Kete Asante, a leading scholar of African American history and culture, discusses the festering issue of systemic racism in America. As Asante makes clear, America continues to be a nation of two peoples with very different histories and perspectives.
African-American female high school students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to apply for The National Scholarship, offered by The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc.
The Five Percenters agree with Elijah Muhammad’s teaching that the White man is the devil. However, they also include all unscrupulous and deceitful people in this category, regardless of color. They believe that the Black race was the original race and the creator of civilization. For the Five Percenters, the demographics of the African-American community break down as follows
Tragic relations between African Americans and Korean Americans began when the two cultures came together without having a sense of communion or a mutual understanding. This is the first book to base an integrated treatment of the relation between the two cultures.
These groups blend elements from American Spiritualism, Roman Catholicism, African American Protestantism, and Voodoo as well as other religious traditions, including New Thought, Judaism, and Islam.
There are numerous scholarships available to African-Americans who wish to obtain a college degree. Some are made available to members of ethnic minority groups to address the historic lack of economic opportunity suffered by African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and members of other minority groups. Others are specifically intended for African-Americans, often to attract them to work in specific professions. Some scholarships are not expressly intended for African-American students, but are awarded to students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Symphonic Brotherhood: The Music of African-American Composers. Albany Records, 1993. Order or listen at Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius P. Williams, conductor. Everett McCorvey, Tenor. Biographical information and program notes enclosed. Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941) " Symphony No. 1"; Henry (Harry) Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949) "The Young Warior"; Julius Penson Williams (b. 1954) "Is It True?"; Gary Powell Nash (b. 1964) "In Memoriam: Sojourner Truth"; David Nathaniel Baker (b. 1931) " Kosbro." This CD emphasizes the mainstream character of the compositions; as it says in the program notes, "The fact that these five composers...are of African descent will become clear only when viewing the photographs." And yet, some of the compositions incorporate very slight elements of jazz, gospel and spirituals. Interestingly, Burleigh's "Young Warrier" gained great popularity in Italy during WWI as a "patriot anthem."
Fi-yer! A Century of African-American Song. Albany Records, 1999. William Brown (tenor) and Ann Sears (piano). Extensive program notes and texts of songs enclosed. Concert music is an important tradition in African American culture, though often one that goes unrecognized and uncelebrated, certainly less well known than blues, ragtime and jazz. But the African American concert tradition is as old at the U.S. itself. William Brown and Ann Sears take us on a delightful and diverse journey through the arranged spirituals and art songs of many composers, including Thomas Greene Bethune (Blind Tom 1849-1908), John William Boone (Blind Boone 1864-1927), Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949), Will Marion Cook (1869-1944), R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943),R oland Hayes (1887-1977), ,Florence Price (1888-1953), , Hall Johnson (1888-1970), William Grant Still (1895-1978), John W. Work III (1901-1967), and Margaret Bonds (1913-1972). Order or listen at
Shades of Blue: Symphonic Works by African American Composers. Albany Records, 2000. Julius Penson Williams, Conductor. Richard Taylor (baritone) with the Prague Radio Symphony and the Washington Symphony. Shades of Blue by David Nathaniel Baker ( b. 1931); Ode to Life by H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932); Gospel Songs for Baritone & String Orchestra by Stephen Michael Newby (b. 1961.) This rich, imaginative collection demonstrates how contemporary African American composers draw on traditional musical forms to create accessible, contemporary orchestral works. Order at or listen and order at