Living between classical and American folk music is the Negro spiritual genre. Fathers of this synergy in sound include Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the noted contributor incorporated Negro spirituals in composition as he toured around the world at the age of 22.

Before Coleridge-Taylor was born, his father had to move back to Sierra Leone. At the time, there was a stronger racial bias view around doctors of color; restricting access to practice medicine in London. Coleridge-Taylor was born on August 15, 1875, in Holborn London, England. His father did not know Coleridge-Taylor existed at the time of his departure.

Coleridge-Taylor shared an English lineage through his mother. His Father came from Black slaves that were freed by the British colonies. Coleridge-Taylor was named after the noted poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His loved ones called him “Coleridge.”

Coleridge-Taylor’s musical awareness was recognized by his family and further nourished by one of his professors at Crystal Palace School of Music. His musical ear was developed and Coleridge-Taylor evolved into a significant contributor to western classical music.

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Coleridge-Taylor began touring at 22, his name is world renown. U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt met with him and brought national recognition to his significant contribution to America. Coleridge-Taylor would have been spotted among the cohorts that included Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois.

Additionally, Coleridge received one of the top Liberian décors, he was knighted official of the Liberian Humane Order of African Redemption; noting his literary works honoring Liberia’s independence.

Some of his compositions include: “The Song of Hiawatha,” “Deep River, op. 59 no. 10,” and “O Ye That Love the Lord.” He collaborated with Washington to produce “24 Negro Melodies.” Coleridge-Taylor was the conductor over the Croydon Conservatoire Orchestra; Coleridge-Taylor emphasized the cultural imprint of Black people by intertwining Negro spirituals to the structure of European-based music.

Coleridge-Taylor married Jessie Walmisley and they parented a son, Coleridge-taylor and a daughter, Avril Coleridge- Taylor, who also became a conductor and musical composer. She would grow up to create and conduct the Coleridge-Taylor Symphony Orchestra; Avril created jobs for Black musicians during the Great Depression.

Coleridge passed away at 37, on September 1, 1912, there was a memorial concert—supporting his family after his passing.