H&H and MAAH Join Forces for JUBLIEE CONCERT on New Year's Eve
Two of New England's most venerable cultural institutions, the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) and the Museum of African American History (MAAH), team up for the Jubilee Concert on New Year's Eve, an afternoon of music and storytelling observing the 151st anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, a Civil War order granting freedom to enslaved men, women, and children living in states in rebellion.
This co-presentation, celebrating an important milestone in American and Boston history, is a reprise of last year's highly successful program that attracted hundreds of First Night visitors to the Museum of African American History's Beacon Hill campus at 46 Joy Street. Many of the original performers will return for this year's concert, including H&H conductor Scott Allen Jarrett and narrator Beverly Morgan-Welch, MAAH's Executive Director.
"Last year's program was such a moving tapestry of music and words that we are returning this year with the beautiful voices of Handel and Haydn Society in the Museum's acoustically warm and intimate African Meeting House, interspersed with incredible stories of the largest emancipation of enslaved people in the world," says Morgan-Welch. "This concert marks the first full year of our wonderful partnership with the Handel and Haydn Society."
Since its construction in 1806, the African Meeting House has been a gathering place for freedom, worship, political meetings, education, and music making. On January 1, 1863, after President Lincoln signed the historic proclamation, the Handel and Haydn Society played an active part in local Jubilee Celebrations. As with the festivities then, this year's Jubilee Concert incorporates themes of freedom and inspiration, with such works as The Battle Hymn of the Republic, written by H&H member Julia Ward Howe in 1861.
"As it approaches its 2015 Bicentennial, H&H is embracing new opportunities to connect with the community and expanding its partnerships with organizations such as the Museum of African American History," says Executive Director & CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard. "The African Meeting House is an acoustical gem that provides an inspiring and intimate setting for audience and musicians to connect through the music, and we look forward to returning there often this season and with a full four-concert series next season."
The Handel and Haydn Society's concert series at the Museum of African American History continues in 2014 with performances on Thursday, March 27 and Thursday, June 12.
More On: Scott Allen, Beverly Morgan, Julia Ward Howe.