Handel and Haydn Society to Perform Special Emancipation Proclamation Concert

The Concert Will Mark the 2,500th Performance in H+H’s History

December 31st at Trinity Church in Boston

[Boston, MA December 5, 2019] The Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History present the Emancipation Proclamation Concert. This special event will also mark the 2,500th performance by the Handel and Haydn Society in its history. Part of Boston’s First Night celebration, the concert will take place at the historic Trinity Church in Copley Square Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 1:00 pm with Scott Allen Jarrett conducting. The performance will include narration by poet Regie Gibson of passages from the Emancipation Proclamation. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Emancipation Proclamation Concert is an afternoon of music and storytelling on the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech in 1863. It has become a tradition for many families across Boston as they prepare to ring in the New Year. In its eighth year, the concert continues to be a collaboration between two great organizations dedicated to preserving and showcasing history.

The Handel and Haydn Society has been performing in Boston since 1815. Now 205 years later, H+H is set to perform its 2,500th concert. To honor its storied history, the H+H Chorus will perform excerpts from Mendelssohn’s Elijah. H+H performed an excerpt from Elijah at the first Emancipation Proclamation celebration in Boston in 1863. The concert will also feature excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Cantata 16, “Herr Gott, dich loben wir”and Cantata 28 “Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende,” Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

New this year, the concert will feature excerpts from William Lloyd Garrison’s “I Am An Abolitionist.” Garrison, a Massachusetts native, wrote the song in 1841 as a call to arms for all Americans to stand up and put an end to slavery. H+H will perform verses of the song throughout the performance, inviting the audience to sing the final verse to close out the concert.

“We love partnering with the Museum of African American History and sharing the Emancipation Proclamation Concert with Boston audiences,” said H+H President and

CEO David Snead. “This is a concert rich in history and altogether fitting for our 2,500th performance. It’s the perfect way to welcome in a New Year and commit ourselves once again to working together toward liberty, freedom, and equality for all.”

Handel and Haydn’s 2019–20 Season Performances include:

A Baroque Christmas – Dec 19 + 22, 2019 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Mozart + Haydn – Jan 24 + 26, 2020 at Symphony Hall
Beethoven + Mozart – Feb 14 + 16, 2020 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Haydn + Beethoven – Feb 28 + March 1, 2020 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach St. Matthew Passion – April 3 + 5, 2020 at Symphony Hall
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons – May 1 + 3, 2020 at Symphony Hall

About the Handel and Haydn Society

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 205 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. The artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society is Harry Christophers. Under Christophers’s leadership, H+H has released 13 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.

About the Museum of African American History

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans. In Boston and Nantucket, the Museum has preserved four historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails® that tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century. For more information, visit: http://maah.org/