This chapter examines Negro music as well as musicians such as singers, instrumentalists, directors, and composers in Illinois in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It begins with a discussion of various Negro musicians in Illinois, from piano prodigy “Blind Tom” Wiggins and the Hampton Singers to the Fisk Jubilee Singers and choral groups known for singing spirituals. Among them were the Chicago Choral Study Club, one of the first to perform the works of black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The chapter also considers the emergence of organized music schools among Chicago Negroes, including the Coleridge-Taylor Music School and the National Conservatory of Music, as well as church choirs, musical clubs and associations.
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