Handel and Haydn Society rings in the Yuletide season with family-friendly Holiday Sing

By November 21, 2013Uncategorized

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2013
Contact: Matthew Erikson, Public Relations & Communications Manager
617 262 1815 or merikson@handelandhaydn.org
National/International Contact: Nikki Scandalios
704 340 4094 or nikki@scandaliospr.com
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Public invited to actively sing along with H&H chorus and children’s choirs at Boston’s historic Great Hall in Faneuil Hall

Tickets begin at $15; performances are Saturday, December 14 at 11am and 2pm

November 21, 2013 (Boston, MA) — The Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) Chorus and members of the Vocal Apprenticeship Program’s (VAP) choruses—the Youth Chorus, Singers, Young Men’s Chorus, and Young Women’s Chamber Choir—perform a Holiday Sing on Saturday, December 14 at historic Great Hall in Faneuil Hall. This fun and participatory holiday celebration returns to the H&H calendar after a brief hiatus and will include some of the most beloved carols and music of the Yuletide season, sung a cappella and with brass accompaniment. Rich and infectious arrangements of “Carol of the Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “In dulci jubilo” are among the scheduled offerings.

The 11am and 2pm performances on Saturday, December 14 will be led by H&H Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster John Finney. The program is approximately an hour in length.

“I am delighted to be able to conduct H&H’s Holiday Sing. These concerts are a festive way to ring in the holiday season, and it is a treat to be leading them in their return, especially in the splendid and historic venue of the Great Hall at Faneuil Hall,” said Finney. “It’s particularly enjoyable to have the audience join us in singing some of the carols, a connection to the treasured American tradition of singing together during the holidays.”

The program will include selections from H&H’s latest CD, Joy to the World: An American Christmas. Released in October on the CORO label, this album has been warmly praised by critics across the country. “The Handel and Haydn Society chorus, led by Harry Christophers, lives up to its history with this collection of august Christmas carols,” wrote The Buffalo News.

The young singers participating in Holiday Sing draw from H&H’s Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP), a part of the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program. Students enrolled in VAP learn music theory and receive performance opportunities throughout each season.

Holiday Sing
December 14, 2013, 11:00am and 2:00pm at Great Hall, Faneuil Hall
John Finney, conductor
11am: H&H Chorus; the Youth Chorus and Singers (directed by Heather Tryon) from H&H’s Vocal Apprenticeship Program
2pm: H&H Chorus; the Young Men’s Chorus (directed by Joseph Stillitano) and Young Women’s Chamber Choir (directed by Alyson Greer) from H&H’s Vocal Apprenticeship Program
Tickets from $15. See below for purchasing information.

Tickets are available through Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) Box Office: by phone at 617 266 3605; online at handelandhaydn.org; or in person at the Handel and Haydn Society offices, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.

John Finney 
John Finney has been Handel and Haydn Society Chorusmaster since 1990, occupying the Cabot Family Chorusmaster Chair in memory of Ned Cabot, and was named Associate Conductor in 1992. He has directed many of H&H’s performances, including Handel Messiah at Symphony Hall in 1997 and 2004, and A Bach Christmas at NEC’s Jordan Hall in 2008, 2010, and 2012. He is widely praised for his harpsichord and organ playing; he holds degrees in organ performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and The Boston Conservatory. Finney is the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Boston College, where he serves as Director of the University Chorale and Conductor of the Boston College Symphony Orchestra. He has directed the Boston College Chorale on concert tours in major cities throughout the world, including Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Rome. Finney recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as Director of Music for the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, where his organ playing and conducting continue to enhance worship services every Sundaymorning. Since 1987, he has been conductor of the Heritage Chorale in Framingham, and has led that chorus in performances of such major works as Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Verdi’s Requiem. In May 2012, he led the Heritage Chorale in a performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana featuring the Handel and Haydn Society Youth Chorus. He has served on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory and taught for six years at the Academy for Early Music in Bressanone, Italy.
Handel and Haydn Society
Handel and Haydn Society is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognize­d leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). H&H will celebrate its 200th anniversary with the 2014–2015 Season.

Handel and Haydn today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012) as well as Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013) and An American Christmas (October 2013).

The Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program
Established in 1985, the Handel and Haydn Society’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program was created with strong ties to the organization’s early leaders. Lowell Mason, best known as the founding father of music education in American public schools, enjoyed a long association with Handel and Haydn, first as musical editor and later as President of H&H from 1827–1832. Mason taught classes at the Bowdoin Street Church and founded the Boston Academy of Music in 1833 to promote music education to the public. When H&H launched its official educational initiative in 1985, it focused on public education with its free school visits that now reach public schools in nine Massachusetts districts; the Collaborative Youth Concerts followed in 1987, in which students from different school districts and cultural backgrounds come together to perform for their communities alongside Handel and Haydn musicians. Collaborative Youth Concerts celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 2012, and honor a rich history of providing students with a sense of achievement and musical ownership in ways that traditional youth concerts cannot.

In 1994, H&H started the Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP) with Youth Chorus (grades 6–8) and the High School Soloists pre-professional program, held at New England Conservatory. Later, VAP reached younger students with Singers (grades 3–5) and high school students with its Young Men’s (grades 8–12) and Young Women’s (grades 9–12) Choruses, so that students could grow with the program for several years, increasing their individual sense of accomplishment as they passed through each level. The Young Women’s Chorus celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013. A Young Women’s Chamber Choir has been formed for Young Women’s Chorus members who demonstrate exceptional talent and motivation. Students enrolled in VAP learn music theory and receive performance opportunities throughout each season. VAP classes take place in the state-of-the-art music division wing of the Boston Latin School, located in one of the most culturally accessible neighborhoods of Boston, next to Massachusetts College of Art; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The Handel and Haydn Society is the only professional music organization in Massachusetts serving as a parent to its own youth ensemble program and regularly presenting them in conjunction with its professional series at Symphony Hall. VAP is also the only youth ensemble program in New England to include individualized scholarships for vocal instruction, diction, and other classes for potential music majors in collaboration with New England Conservatory.

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617 262 1815 or merikson@handelandhaydn.org.