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Largest donations in 198-year history given to fund chorus and education programs
December 12, 2012 (Boston, MA) – The Handel and Haydn Society has received gifts totaling $2 million to endow its chorus and educational outreach programs. A gift of $1 million from Jane and Wat Tyler will fund the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, ensuring the continued artistic excellence of this signature professional ensemble. A second gift of $1 million from Karen Levy will support the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program. These milestone gifts are the largest in the Society’s 198-year history and come as the organization approaches its Bicentennial in 2015 and prepares for the early stages of a campaign to fund new strategic initiatives and endowment. Nick Gleysteen, Chairman of the Board, remarked, “Wat Tyler and Karen Levy have each given many years of service and support to Handel and Haydn. These remarkable gifts are a testament to their leadership, passion and dedication, and will help support the artistic and educational excellence of H&H for many years to come.”
Wat H. Tyler is a Vice Chair of the Handel and Haydn Society Board of Governors, where he has served for 15 years. He will be honored at this year’s Society Ball, H&H’s annual gala fundraiser, on March 23 at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. Tyler was Chairman and CEO of IPS Corporation and Director of McKinsey & Company. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, he also was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship. He and his wife Jane reside in Brookline. “Jane and I are honored to endow the Society’s chorus and help make sure its artistic excellence is maintained,“ said Tyler. “We hope our gift will allow future generations to experience the joy of this incredible group.“
Karen S. Levy is a Vice Chair of the Handel and Haydn Society Board of Governors, where she has served since 1994. As Chair of its Education Committee, Levy was instrumental in developing H&H’s impactful and far-reaching educational outreach efforts. The Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2010. A graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard School of Education, she is former chair of Wellesley’s Hillel Alumnae Board. “Children in the Greater Boston community deserve access to the best music education programs available. With this gift, H&H’s vocal training programs will impact young lives far into the future,“ said Levy. “It means so much to me to honor George’s memory and endow the Handel and Haydn Society’s educational outreach program.“
“We are extremely grateful to Karen and Wat for these leadership gifts, which are tremendously important as we implement an ambitious strategic plan to connect more deeply with our community,“ said Marie-Hélène Bernard, Executive Director and CEO. “It is wonderfully rewarding to have H&H associated with such fine Board members and philanthropic minds who believe in the long-term potential of our programs.”
The Handel and Haydn Society will celebrate its Bicentennial in 2015 with signature choral presentations and special programs throughout Boston and nationally. Its educational outreach programs will continue to reach more communities and serve a broad and diverse audience.
“With these unprecedented gifts the Handel and Haydn Society is poised to enter a new phase in its history,” said Artistic Director Harry Christophers. “We are lucky to have such dedicated supporters who can ensure our organization will remain strong for another 200 years and beyond.”
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) 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 considered 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 is to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 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. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011) and Coronation Mass (2012) and is planning the release of a Haydn project (2013) and of an a cappella program with its professional choir for the 2013 holiday season. 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.
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