Samuel Colderidge-Taylor (Aug. 15, 1875 - Sept. 1, 1912) was born in London, England, to Alice Hare Martin, an English woman, and Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, from Sierre Leone. They weren't married, and Daniel Taylor returned to Africa before 1875, unaware he had a son. Martin named her child after the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and was raised in Croydon, Surrey by his mother, and her father. Coleridge-Taylor studied violin at the Royal College of Music, and was later on appointed a professor at the Crystal Palace School of Music, and conducted the orchestra at the Croyden Conservatory.  Coleridge-Taylor found success at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and Worcester; he was recommended by Edward Elgar, who heard rave reviews about Coleridge-Taylor from noted music critic and editor August Jaeger. He had much success during his time, and his interest in African-American culture brought him to the States on several occasions where his success continued. He made such an impression that he was invited to the White House by Theodore Roosevelt.

Coleridge-Taylor's output included works for orchestra, sonatas, chamber works, and several vocal pieces, including Oh, the Summer. Written in 1911, this piece for soprano, alto, and piano is a cheerfully flowing work in 3/8. The main rhythm (quarter note, eighth note, dotted eighth sixteenth, eighth note) is in both soprano and alto parts, and while the soprano has the melody, the alto's part is rich and creative, and is not just mere accompaniment. The text to this lovely but short piece is by Canadian poet and librettist, Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

Oh the summer, glowing, blowing,
Flowers in the sun;
Oh the warmth and sweetness, knowing
That the winter's done;
Spring is just behind us,
dying Autumn just before, and flying,
Flying are the days
No sighing can recall us one.

Oh the summer,
the long fading
Of the laggard light,
Crimson, gold, and purple shading,
Slowly into night.
Where the earth and sky are meeting,
Day and dark exchange soft greeting,
Perfect moments, fleeting, fleeting,
Sweetest in their flight.

We can't seem to find a recording of this lovely work, but let's hope that changes soon!