The Handel and Haydn Society Singers is a fun and engaging ensemble of 35 children who may be new to singing and reading music. Students sing unison and two-part songs in a variety of musical styles and take classes to develop their reading, listening, and sight-singing skills. Singers performs at venues such as Boston Children’s Museum and Boston Latin School, at festivals with other school and community ensembles, and at Handel and Haydn’s annual Society Ball. H+H Singers is for boys and girls, ages 8–11. Jennifer Kane, conductor
Founded in 1994, the Handel and Haydn Society Youth Chorus was the first Vocal Arts Program ensemble. Today, the ensemble’s 60 members come from nearly 30 communities and sing repertoire that ranges from classical music to spirituals, folksongs, and world music. Youth Chorus made its Symphony Hall debut in 1999, joining the Handel and Haydn Society ensemble for the world premiere of Dan Welcher’s oratorio, JFK: The Voice of Peace. Youth Chorus performed at the dedication of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge on national television with Bruce Springsteen in 2003, at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) division conference in New York City in 2006, and in Vox Lumiere’s rock opera The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in 2009. Youth Chorus has also been featured in performances of Carmina Burana by Boston College ensembles, the Brookline Chorus, and Heritage Chorale. In 2013, the Youth Chorus performed in collaboration with the Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Jack Beeson’s, Lizzie Borden. 2015–2016 season’s highlights a joint concert with the Cape Cod Children’s Chorus and a collaboration with the Metropolitan Chorale in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. The ensemble performs regularly at ACDA children’s chorus festivals and at Handel and Haydn’s annual Society Ball. Youth Chorus is for girls and boys with unchanged voices, ages 10–14. Jennifer Kane, conductor
Concert Choir, the Vocal Arts Program’s newest ensemble, had it’s opening season in 2015–2016. It is comprised of students, ages 12–14, who demonstrate the maturity and interest to study and perform advanced level choral music. The Concert Choir had its debut performance in the Fall of 2015 in H+H’s Bach Christmas. Jennifer Kane, conductor
Young Men’s Chorus
Founded in 2006, the Handel and Haydn Society’s Young Men’s Chorus (YMC) provides a vigorous and musically challenging experience for 25 young men with changing to changed voices who wish to study and perform repertoire from a wide variety of styles, time periods, languages, instrumentation, and genres. Repertoire ranges from early and late classical music to world music, folk, and contemporary a cappella music. YMC has performed at Symphony Hall, Tufts University, the National Heritage Museum, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and the Cutler Majestic Theatre, as well as at events such as The Society Ball and the Massachusetts Superintendents Roundtable. YMC returned to Symphony Hall in 2012 and to perform Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra. In 2008, H+H organized the area’s first Young Men’s Choral Festival, which features high school and collegiate men’s choirs in an annual collaboration. Past college partners and festival hosts include Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Tufts University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In 2013 the YMC performed with the Young Women’s Chamber Choir alongside the H+H Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra in Vivaldi’s Gloria at Symphony Hall. During H+H’s Bicentennial season, the Young Men’s Chorus will return to Symphony Hall to perform in the Baroque Fireworks concert, and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. In 2015 the combined Young Men’s and the Young Women’s Choruses embarked on its first overseas concert tour to Austria and the Czech Republic. Young Men’s Chorus is for boys with changing/changed voices, ages 14–18. Kevin McDonald, conductor
Young Women’s Chorus
Founded in 1998, the Handel and Haydn Society’s Young Women’s Chorus (YWC) has consistently demonstrated its ability to perform challenging and interesting repertoire above the typical level for high school female choral ensembles. The ensemble’s 70 members come from more than 40 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. YWC performs classical repertoire in a variety of languages, along with spirituals, jazz, folksongs, and a cappella music. YWC made its Jordan Hall debut in 2004 on Handel and Haydn’s A German Christmas program with Grant Llewellyn and made its Symphony Hall debut in 2006 on Handel and Haydn’s Holiday Sing program. YWC returned to Symphony Hall in 2012 and 2015 to perform Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra. It has participated in festivals with the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Wellesley College Choir, sung with ensembles such as the New England Philharmonic Orchestra, Winsor Music, and the NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, and appeared at four major fundraising events for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Project Place. In 2015 the Young Women’s and Men’s Choruses embarked on its first overseas concert tour to Austria and the Czech Republic. 2015–2016 season’s highlights a joint concert with the Heritage Chorale and a collaboration with the Metropolitan Chorale in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Young Women’s Chorus is for girls, ages 15–18. Alyson Greer, conductor.
Young Women’s Chamber Choir
This vocal ensemble is an advanced chamber choir for young women of approximately twenty voices. It made its debut performance during the 2013 – 2014 season. Students who sing in the Young Women’s Chorus are eligible to audition for the ensemble beginning in grade 10. This group of highly motivated and extraordinarily talented young musicians focuses on learning and performing advanced level vocal chamber music written exclusively for women’s voices. In 2013 the Young Women’s Chamber Choir performed with the Young Men’s Chorus alongside the H+H Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra in Vivaldi’s Gloria at Symphony Hall. During H+H’s Bicentennial season, the Young Women’s Chamber Choir returned to Symphony Hall to perform in the Baroque Fireworks concert, and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Alyson Greer, conductor
High School Soloists
High School Soloists is a pre-professional vocal training program for students who wish to pursue careers in opera and music education. One of the two original parts of the Vocal Arts Program, founded in 1994, High School Soloists remains the only program of its kind in the Greater Boston area. In partnership with the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Handel and Haydn provides weekly individual voice lessons, diction classes, and vocal chamber music opportunities for 12 high school students for limited or free tuition. Students work with Handel and Haydn musicians and Preparatory School faculty, and participate in two to four masterclasses each semester, and present winter and spring recitals at The Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory. Each year, Handel and Haydn grants awards to High School Soloists students and alumni to recognize their achievements and assist them in their educational and career pursuits. Graduates have gone on to study at the nation’s most prestigious conservatories, including The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and the Harvard University/New England Conservatory dual degree program.