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The 2010–2011 Season marks the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn Society’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, established in 1985. Lowell Mason, best known as the founding father of music education in American public schools, enjoyed a long association as musical editor and later President of the Society, starting in 1820. Almost 200 years later, the Handel and Haydn Society continues to foster Mr. Mason's legacy of providing citizens of all ages with the joys of classical music through a variety of programs. In continued celebration of this landmark achievement, H&H continues to pursue performance and education opportunities for youth (grades 3 –12) through the Educational Outreach Program.
Young Women’s Chorus Commission
The Handel and Haydn Society’s Young Women’s Chorus, comprising singers in grades 9–12, will perform the world premiere of William Hawley’s Life of Life as part of the Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP) Spring Choral Concert on Monday, May 16, at 7.30pm at the Boston Latin School auditorium, 78 Avenue de Louis Pasteur. Hawley composed Life of Life (for SSA chorus, two horns in F, and harp) for the Young Women’s Chorus. The text is taken from the celebrated stanzas from the end of Act II of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, beginning “Life of Life! Thy lips enkindle.” The text describes the transfiguration of a sea-nymph into a luminous figure who dazzles all who behold her. This commission celebrates the Educational Outreach Program's 25th anniversary and the musical inspiration of Lisa Graham, conductor of the Young Women's Chorus for 10 years. The chorus performed Hawley's Magnificat with brass ensemble in December 2006, a piece commissioned and premiered by Dr. Graham and the Wellesley College Choir in 2003. Hawley has also received commissions from organizations including Chanticleer, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, and the Alexandria Choral Society, and his music has been heard internationally.
The concert will feature all four choirs of the Vocal Apprenticeship Program: Singers (preparatory choir, grades 3–5), Youth Chorus (grades 6–8), Young Men’s Chorus (grades 8–12), and Young Women’s Chorus. The ensembles are led by conductors Heather Tryon (Singers and Youth Chorus), Joseph Stillitano (Young Men’s Chorus), and Lisa Graham. Also featured are horn players Richard Menaul and Lee Wadenpfuhl and harpist Judy Saiki.
Young Men’s Chorus in Lowell Mason Celebration
Lowell Mason, considered the father of music education, joined the Handel and Haydn Society Board in 1821 and served as President from 1827–1832. Mason was the nation’s first educator to teach music in public schools, a tradition continued by H&H. The Lowell Mason Foundation is dedicated to preserving Mason’s legacy and is in the process of restoring his house in Medfield. On Saturday, May 22 at 2pm the Foundation will present a Lowell Mason Celebration at St. Edward the Confessor Parish, Medfield. The Society’s Young Men’s Chorus will sing works by Grieg, Handel, and Mason, as well as folksongs and popular a cappella selections, under conductor Joseph Stillitano.
2011 Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award and Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence
The Handel and Haydn Society annually presents two awards: one to a graduating Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP) High School Soloist with the intent of pursuing further musical studies and one to a High School Soloists program alumnus/a. Past award winners have attended the Eastman School of Music, Berklee School of Music, Boston University, Harvard University, The Juilliard School, Longy School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, McGill University, New England Conservatory, and Peabody Conservatory.
The Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award of $1,500 is presented to a graduating High School Soloist who intends to continue his or her musical studies in college. The award was established in 2001 in loving memory of Candace Achtmeyer, a member of the Handel and Haydn Society Board from 1993–2001 and a member of the Education Committee, where she voiced passionate opinions about the Society's responsibility to the community and children. The 2011 Achtmeyer Award will be presented to Gia Greene, a graduating senior at Medford High School. Greene joined the Youth Chorus in 2005 and has performed with Young Women’s Chorus and Soloists for four years; she will attend Berklee College of Music in the fall.
The Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence extends the Society's support to an outstanding High School Soloist alumnus/a who has pursued further musical studies and professional performance with an award of $2,000. The award is named in honor of Handel and Haydn Society Governor Barbara E. Maze, who served on the board from 1993–2009 and was instrumental in creating VAP. Maze was Chair of the Society’s Cultural Diversity Committee and a member of the H&H’s Education Committee. She was a retired Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Boston University where, for nearly 40 years, she influenced many students in their pursuits of professional music careers. The 2011 winner is Evangelyna Etienne, a music education major (voice concentration) at Gordon College, where she studies with Susan Brooks. Etienne participated in VAP from 2001–2008 as a choir member and VAP Soloist, and was the winner of the 2008 Achtmeyer Award.
This year’s winners will perform alongside 11 other members of the High School Soloists program at New England Conservatory on Wednesday, June 15 at 7.30pm in the High School Soloists Spring Recital and Awards Ceremony.
Events at a Glance
May 16, 7.30pm
Vocal Apprenticeship Program Spring Choral Concert
Boston Latin School, 78 Avenue de Louis Pasteur, Boston
$5 General Admission
May 22, 2pm
Young Men’s Chorus in Lowell Mason Celebration
St. Edward the Confessor Parish, 133 Spring Street (Rt. 27), Medfield
June 15, 7.30pm
Vocal Apprenticeship Program High School Soloists Spring Recital and Awards Ceremony
Williams Hall, New England Conservatory
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 the Society 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 the Society launched its official educational initiative in 1985, it focused on public education with its free school visits that now reach public schools in eight 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 Society musicians.
In 1994, the Society started the Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP) with Youth Chorus (grades 6–8) and the High School Soloists 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. 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 children’s choir program and regularly presenting them in conjunction with its professional series at Symphony Hall. VAP is also the only children’s choir 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.
See attached Newsletter for more information on our education programs.
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
The Handel and Haydn Society is a professional chorus and period instrument orchestra that is 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, the Society is 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). The Society today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible. The Society is widely known through its local subscription concerts, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical and National Public Radio, and recordings. The Society’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2002 Grammy Award and two of its CDs, All is Bright and PEACE, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. In September 2010, Handel and Haydn released its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor—the first in a series of live commercial recordings leading to the Society’s Bicentennial in 2015. The 2010–2011 Season marks the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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