Learn more about H&H's rich history and explore our interactive timeline.
July 1, 2011 (Boston, MA) – Following a series of new appointments in May, the Handel and Haydn Society is pleased to announce another addition to its artistic staff. Alyson Greer joins the Handel and Haydn Society in September 2011 as the Young Women’s Chorus conductor. Greer will lead and teach the Young Women’s Chorus, an advanced female choir of 60–70 students in three to four parts. Participating students are selected by audition, demonstrating fine musical aptitude and potential. Greer will join a team of 13 education staff members, which includes conductors, theory teachers, accompanists, and a vocal quartet. Since 2006 she has been Director of Choral Music at Hanover High School, where she directs five choirs: the Concert Chorus, Freshmen Women’s Chorale, VOX (select honors women’s ensemble), The Corporation (men’s a cappella ensemble), and Mad-Jazz Choir. Her Hanover High ensembles consistently earn gold ratings and medals at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) and Heritage Music Festival statewide competitions. VOX was one of only two choral ensembles chosen from 18 others statewide for the 2010 Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Convention Concert Hour, has been awarded MICCA gold medals at MICCA four out of the last five years, and was featured in MICCA’s 2011 gold medal showcase Stars @ Symphony at Symphony Hall. Greer is also the Co-Founder and Assistant Director of Quincy Point Music Academy and was Director of Music and Choirs at Quincy Point Congregational Church from 20072011.
Greer holds a Bachelor of Music degree (magna cum laude) in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music Education degree, both from The Boston Conservatory. She was a Full Conductor Fellow at the Sarteano Chamber Choir Conducting Workshop (Tuscany, Italy), where she participated in master classes with Simon Carrington and Bronislawa Falinska and was a featured alto soloist in the Chamber Choir. A mezzo-soprano, Greer is an active performer in the Boston area and has performed as a soloist with the Quincy Summer Singers and the Eastern Nazarene College Choral Union in their annual performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Greer joins at a key juncture as Handel and Haydn builds momentum for its upcoming Bicentennial celebration in 2015 and wraps up the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, through which H&H reaches 10,000 children annually. As part of the Bicentennial celebration, members of the Vocal Apprenticeship Program will join the H&H Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus on stage at Symphony Hall during Bach’s St. Matthew Passion this March.
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 H&H, 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 Handel and Haydn 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 musicians.
In 1994, Handel and Haydn established 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 throughout their academic careers, increasing their individual sense of accomplishment as they passed through each level. In addition to receiving choral training, VAP students take music theory classes and perform several times each season. VAP rehearsals and 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 ensemble program, vocal or instrumental, and regularly presenting them in conjunction with its subscription series at Symphony Hall. VAP is the only children’s choir program in New England to include individualized scholarships for vocal instruction, diction, and other classes for potential music majors, which it does in collaboration with New England Conservatory.
ABOUT 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 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). Handel and Haydn today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, 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. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording Lamentations and Praises won a 2002 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. In September 2010, H&H 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 H&H’s Bicentennial in 2015. The 2010–2011 Season marked 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.
Visit our new media center for releases, photos and more.