A Concert Tribute to ASCAP Founding Member Harry T. Burleigh at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre
June 2, 2017
(l-r) Nathaniel R. Thompson (bass baritone), Chivonne Perkins (soprano), Gregory Hopkins (Harlem Opera Theater Artistic Director and pianist), Crystal Charles (mezzo-soprano), Everett Suttle (tenor) and ASCAP’s Michael Spudic. Photo: Hubert WIlliams
A distinguished moment of pride after Harlem Opera Theater’s concert presentation, one devoted exclusively to the music of founding ASCAP member Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949), “Father of Concert Spiritual Arrangements.” Prominent as a baritone, educator and composer, Burleigh not only helped establish American folk music in the concert hall, but was heralded by Antonin Dvorak even while a student, admired by Paul Robeson as a singing mentor, and in 1941 during the last decade of his life, cherished by his ASCAP member colleagues to a degree that he was granted a seat on the ASCAP Board of Directors.