Wade In The Water Ep. 8: African American Composers & The Concert Spiritual Tradition Composers like Harry T. Burleigh, Nathaniel Dett and William Dawson, who applied Western classical music training to the traditional spiritual and created a new repertoire for the concert stage.

Wade In The Water Ep. 8: African American Composers & The Concert Spiritual Tradition

Wade In The Water Ep. 8: African American Composers & The Concert Spiritual Tradition

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Harry T. Burleigh. Maud Cuney-Hare/Public domain hide caption

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Maud Cuney-Hare/Public domain

Harry T. Burleigh.

Maud Cuney-Hare/Public domain

Wade in the Water is a 26-part series, originally released in 1994, that celebrates African American sacred music and traditions. To learn more about the series, click here. For more episodes click here or listen on the go with the NPR One app.


Composers like Harry T. Burleigh, Nathaniel Dett and William Dawson, who applied Western classical music training to the traditional spiritual and created a new repertoire for the concert stage.

Song List

  • Howard University Choir, "Wade in the Water"
  • Florida A&M University Choir, "There is a Balm in Gilead"
  • Howard University Choir, "Deep River"
  • Paul Robeson, "Deep River"
  • Roland Hayes, "Weepin' Mary"
  • Howard University Choir, "Listen to the Lambs"
  • Florence Quivar, "Give Me Jesus"
  • Howard University Choir, "Ain't Got Time to Die"
  • Hall Johnson Choir, "Green Passtures"
  • Tuskegee Institute Choir, "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel"
  • Fisk Jubilee Singers, "Rockin' Jerusalem"
  • Leontyne Price, "This Little Light of Mine"
  • Thomas Young Choir, "My Lord, What a Morning"

Wade in the Water was produced by Judi Moore Latta and Sonja Williams.


Stream A Selection Of Songs From The Series