Sep 11 – Harry Thacker Burleigh

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Sep 11 - Harry Thacker Burleigh

Harry Thacker Burleigh
Composer + Arranger + Singer
11 September 1949

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Harry BurleighHenry “Harry” Thacker Burleigh (December 2, 1866September 12, 1949), a baritone, was an African American classical composer, arranger, and professional singer.

In 1894, he became a soloist for St. George’s Episcopal church in New York City. There was opposition to hiring Burleigh at the all-white church from some parishioners, because of his race, at a time when other white New YorkEpiscopal churches were forbidding black people to worship. J. P. Morgan, a member of St. George’s at that time, cast the deciding vote to hire Burleigh. In spite of the initial problems obtaining the appointment, Burleigh became close to many of the members during his long tenure as a soloist at the church.

Burleigh also made the first formal…

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