The Palms (1872)


The Palms (1872)

Baritone Jonathan Green and keyboardist Erik Carlson perform Jean-Baptist Faure’s “The Palms” for the Harry T. Burleigh Society’s 2018 Saint Day Celebration at St. Philip’s Church. 

“The Palms” was a piece that Burleigh sang regularly during his post as baritone soloist at St. George’s Church, and he is still remembered for singing it with conviction and power. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 2pm

September 11th is Harry T. Burleigh’s Saint Day in the Episcopal Church. In celebration of Burleigh, and in honor of his relationship with St. Philip’s Church, the Burleigh Society hosted a program of reflection about Burleigh’s spiritual life, performance of his music, and fellowship with the St. Philip’s community. 

Dr. Jean Snyder’s 2016 biography Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance states that: 

 “…Burleigh gravitated to the black Episcopal congregations where he would be most likely to find choral traditions similar to those he had enjoyed in Erie’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul. Eventually he joined the Men and Boys’ Choir at historic St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (not yet in Harlem)” (Snyder, 114).

“Exactly when Burleigh joined the Men and Boy’s Choir at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church has not been established. St. Philip’s was the financial and social pinnacle of black Episcopalianism in New York City, and characteristically Burleigh rose to the ecclesiastical and musical creme de la creme of the city’s black community. Descried as ‘perhaps the wealthiest congregation of Negroes in the country,’ the congregation at this time was located in the Tenderloin District at 161 West 25th Street” (Snyder, 115-116).

 “Joining the St. Philip’s vested male choir gave Burleigh expanded entree to the social groups that could support his ambitions as a classical singer. From his first months in New York City, Burleigh’s connections with the city’s black social elite established his place among the network of artists who performed in the urban communities of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast” (Snyder, 116).

Performance Venue: 

Calvary Church, of the Calvary-St. George’s Parish


Faure, Jean-Baptist

Date of Composition: 


Performing Artists:

Jonathan Green, baritone

Erik Carlson, keyboardist