The Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History present the Emancipation Proclamation Concert. Part of Boston’s First Night celebration, the free concert is open to the public and will take place at the historic Trinity Church Boston in Copley Square on Friday, December 31, 2021, at 1:00 pm with Anthony Trecek-King conducting.
The concert marks the return of the annual New Year’s Eve tradition for H H that had to be canceled last year due to the pandemic. This will be the H H premiere performance led by conductor Anthony Trecek-King, and it will include narration by National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson reading of passages from the Emancipation Proclamation.
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 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.
“The Emancipation Proclamation Concert is one of the truly special events at H H that we look forward to every year,” said H H President and CEO David Snead. “We are excited to see what Dr. Trecek-King has in store for the performance and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Trinity Church as we celebrate the New Year and commit ourselves once again to working together toward liberty, freedom, and equality for all.”
All individuals at Trinity Church will be required to show proof of vaccination. All guests will be required to wear a mask at all times. The concert is free to the public, and no tickets are required. Capacity will be limited to 60%, or 700 people.
H H’s 2021-22 Season Performances include:
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 January 7 9 Symphony Hall
Haydn Mozart January 28 30 Symphony Hall
Bach Brandenburg Concertos February 4 5 6 NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach Vivaldi Gloria April 1 3 Symphony Hall
Haydn The Creation April 29 May 1 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.