“The National Negro March”
Jim Europe changed the Clef Club Symphony Orchestra to “National Negro Symphony Orchestra” as a way of avoiding identification with either of the clubs while pointing in a positive way toward a mutually happy future. Europe and the National Negro Symphony Orchestra, augmented by a larger number of strings, woodwinds, and brass than he had used in 1912 or 1913, was joined by a chorus from the Music School Settlement, a new group called the Afro-American Folk Song Singers, under the direction of Will Marion Cook, and by vocal soloists Abbie Mitchell, Harry T. Burleigh, and J. Rosamond Johnson. Black musicians have been hampered in the development of the symphonic dimension of the African-American musical continuum. The success of the Castles' appearance with Jim Europe and his orchestra at the Tempo Club entertainment helped to spur arrangements for the much talked about national tour, and by the middle of the month a schedule had been set.
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