BTWSC (UK) in association with WEB Du Bois Memorial Centre For Pan African Culture (GH), BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 100PM Collective and H.E. Mr KB Asante invites you to Remembering Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – an audio-visual presentation, led by UK-based music industry and history consultant Kwaku, highlighting African British & pan-African history, and music on March 29 2012, 3-5pm WEB Du Bois Memorial Centre, Off First Circular Road, Cantonment, Accra (near the American Embassy)
Born in London of Sierra Leonean/British parentage in 1875, Coleridge-Taylor’s fame preceded that of one of his admirers, the esteemed British composer Edward Elgar. One of Coleridge-Taylorâs compositions, âHiawathaâs Wedding Feastâ, vied in popularity with long-established choral pieces such as âMessiahâ and âElijahâ. The âHiawathaâ sessions were an annual two-week feast of the âHiawathaâ trilogy, which were performed at the Royal Albert Hall from 1924-1939.
Coleridge-Taylorâs fame spread to the US, where there was no comparable African American musician or composer that matched his stature. There were several Samuel Coleridge-Taylor choral societies dotted around the US, where he toured in 1904, 1906 and 1910. He was the first African to conduct all-European orchestras in the US, and President Theodore Roosevelt invited him to the White House, where they talked about music, and social issues, including dealing with racism.
Coleridge-Taylor was a pan-Africanist and part of the African Association, which organised the 1900 Pan-African Conference in London, where he met WEB Du Bois, who was to become a family friend. A confident African, the composer introduced themes and styles into the classical music genre, such a the â24 Negro Melodiesâ.