Harry T. Burleigh

BURLEIGH, Harry [Henry]  Thacker. b. Erie, Pennsylvania, 2 December 1866; d. Stamford, Connecticut, 12 September 1949.  Distinguished singer, composer, and arranger, Burleigh made important contributions to American music through his many timeless vocal solo settings of African-American spirituals scored for classically trained singers. His earliest musical influence was his grandfather, former slave Hamilton Waters, who taught Burleigh and his siblings the songs of the plantation. Racial segregation prevented Burleigh’s widowed mother, Elizabeth Waters Burleigh, a college graduate and singer, from pursuing a teaching career; instead, she supported her family as a janitress and part-time...

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