Monday, November 07, 2022

The Handel and Haydn Society and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Andrea stumbled on the end of a show on BBC Four, "Great American Railway Journeys", with Michael Portillo, just in time to hear the story of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, which was founded in 1815 and is the oldest continuously active arts organization in the United States. The story ended with a choir from the society singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which was written in November 1861 by Julia Ward Howe. One special feature of that choir performing that song is that Howe herself was a member of the choir in the mid-nineteenth century. That connection made this performance of the powerful old song especially moving. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 7 November 2022)

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