A Celebration of Our Community

First Church in Roxbury
10 Putnam Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Share the dynamic spirit of this community celebration of song. Be uplifted and empowered as you join our musical festival for justice. The concert resounds with uplifting American spirituals and folk songs, and the stars include beloved members of our H+H Orchestra and Chorus, as well as students from our Vocal Arts Program. Last year H+H gave its first performance ever in Roxbury before a packed house of music lovers young and old.  Now H+H returns for another afternoon of music and celebration—join us!

Free admission. Reception following, open to all.

Presented in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry.

“In this concert, I’m beginning a musical exploration of Boston. I want to celebrate our parts—our women, our children, our people of color—so that we can better celebrate our whole.”

– Reginald Mobley

Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 3:00pm

Reginald Mobley, director and countertenor
Jennifer Kane, conductor

Members of the ​H+H Orchestra and Chorus

H+H Vocal Arts Program Concert Choir

Jessica Cooper, soprano
Cassandra Extavour, soprano
Clare McNamara, alto
Eric Perry, tenor
Stefan Reed, tenor
Ryne Cherry, bass
Bradford Gleim, bass
Wade Davis, cello

Isabella Leonarda: “Alma Redemptoris Mater”
Leonarda: “Venite Laetantes”
Julia Ward Howe: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Amy Beach: “The Lotus Isles”
Traditional spiritual “City Called Heaven”
Traditional folk song “We Shall Overcome”
Hall Johnson: “Ain’t Got Time to Die”
J.C. Bach: “Fürchte dich nicht”
Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory: “Witness”
Richard Clark: “Dona Nobis Pacem”
J. Rosamond Johnson: “Lift Evr’y Voice and Sing”

Parking will be available at

Madison Park High School
75 Malcolm X Boulevard
Boston, MA 02120

James P. Timilty Middle School
205 Roxbury Street
Roxbury, MA 02119


“The City on a Hill…” “The Cradle of Liberty…” “The Hub of the Universe…”

These are just a few of the myriad nicknames Boston has collected in its near four centuries of existence. They continue on from the obscure “City of Notions,” to the locally abhorred “Beantown” (which is nearly as useful a tell as the erroneously pluralized “Boston Commons” in separating true Bostonians from the chaff). However, there is one nickname that I’d long held since my youth, that helped fuel my emigration from the Deep South to the “City of Champions…”

“Athens of America.”

Boston, only occupying 48 square miles of land, often has the look and feel of a city somewhere in Northern Europe. More a suburb of London, than a midwife of American civilization. And yet, behind its impressive list of “firsts” and “oldests,” this city continues to lead with a massive output of innovation, education, science and tech, sports, medicine, and the Arts. An output that would be the envy of a city 10 times its size. If NYC is coffee, Boston is most assuredly espresso. A place truly deserving its Athenian title. However, Boston is still more than that. Boston is a home. And the clear force behind its vibrancy and brilliance, is its people. No city can truly prosper if it doesn’t embrace its community, and it’s the unspoken togetherness of a community that wards off intolerance and division.

In this current political climate, mistrust and disunion threaten our bonds, and hasten rot within our perseverance. However, within the Arts, there lies a potential cure within the source of its power, the “spirit of community,” and that cure is celebrating diversity. Unlike sports, where the “spirit of competition” strengthens a team or an individual, the Arts takes advantage of its collective differences to strengthen everyone, and invites all to strive toward a common goal. What is an orchestra if it’s only violins with no other instruments? What is a painting if your only color is green? What is a choir if you only have tenors? (Though the answer to that question is “nothing.” None would ever find their way to rehearsal.) Our differences in colors, tones, and abilities bring differences in perspective, and provide strength and presence where we naturally lack. They create more than we are alone.

So I ask, what is Boston without its people of color? What is Boston without its women? Its immigrants? Its seniors? Its LGBTQIA community? Most importantly, what is Boston without its children? Because it’s the youth of Boston that make up the Boston of tomorrow. I think that in our present worries, we lose sight of the advantages that come from our diversity. So, in this concert, we instead seek to celebrate that. Through music and spoken word, I invite y’all to join in lifting up every single voice in Boston. Because I truly believe that if we acknowledge and recognize our parts, it can only serve to create a better whole.