Media Advisory: Handel and Haydn Society Shifts Emancipation Proclamation Concert Online

In the Interest of Public Health Guests Will Not Be Able to Attend and Concert Will Be Recorded Live to be Released Later 

 (Boston December 30, 2021) The Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History have decided to adjust the presentation of the Emancipation Proclamation Concert to a digital format. Following guidance from the City of Boston for all First Night events, guests will not be allowed inside Trinity Church Boston for the performance. H+H will record the performance and upload the video online at a later date. 

“While we are disappointed that we will not be able to welcome everyone back to this Boston tradition, H+H is committed to doing everything we can to stop the spread of the Omicron variant,” said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “We will release the entire concert online and provide it free of charge to everyone as a gift to our community. It will be available on our streaming platform H+H Plays On.” 

The Emancipation Proclamation Concert will be led by conductor Anthony Trecek-King, and include narration by National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson, who will read excerpts from a speech by Frederick Douglass. In its ninth year, the concert continues to be a collaboration between two organizations dedicated to preserving and showcasing history, commemorating Boston’s historic central role in the abolition movement, celebrating the spirit of progress for human rights, and recognizing the role of music in creating alliance and belonging. 

Members of H+H performed at the first Emancipation Proclamation celebration in Boston in 1863. Now nearly 160 years later, the Emancipation Proclamation concert will include performances of “My Lord What a Morning,” A.G. Duncan’s “My country! ‘tis of thee,” Felix Mendelssohn’s “Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich,” William Lloyd Garrison’s “Song of the Abolitionist,” “Oh, Freedom,” R. Nathaniel Dett’s “America the Beautiful,” Handel’s “Hallelujah” from Judas Maccabaeus, and “We Shall Overcome.” Marlon Matthews, tenor will join members of the H+H Chorus for the performance. 

 H+H’s 2021-22 Season Performances include: 

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 – January 7 + 9 at Symphony Hall
Haydn + Mozart – January 28 + 30 at Symphony Hall
Bach Brandenburg Concertos – February 4 + 5 + 6 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach + Vivaldi Gloria – April 1 + 3 at Symphony Hall
Haydn The Creation – April 29 + May 1 at Symphony Hall 

About the Handel and Haydn Society 

Boston’s Grammy-winning 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 207 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States) speaking to its singular success at converting new audiences to this extraordinary music, generation after generation. 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 15 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.