Concert Info: Songs of Innocence

Friday, May 12 at 8 p.m.

Sanders Theatre, Cambridge

The 100-member Metropolitan Chorale, led by Music Director Lisa Graham and joined by the Handel and Haydn Society’s Young Women’s Chorus, will present “Songs of Innocence” at 8 p.m., Friday, May 12 at the historic Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This concert features the Boston premiere of Steven Sametz’s “A Child’s Requiem,” a moving oratorio composed in 2014 in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The music’s text combines writings by school children, teachers and administrators with texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson and others. The composer collected more than 500 stories from children around the country for use in this piece.

“Steven Sametz's ‘A Child's Requiem’ exquisitely captures the grief of loss while affirming innocence, hope, and a greater need to protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Music Director Lisa Graham.

The May 12 program also features songs inspired by childhood with music by John Rutter, Veljo Tormis and Peter Maxwell Davies. Alyson Greer will direct the Young Women’s Chorus, and soloists Bethany Worrell (soprano) and David Vanderwal (tenor) will join the chorale. Vanderwal premiered “A Child’s Requiem” in its debut performance at the University of Connecticut in March 2015, and he is featured on a new recording of the piece. He will be traveling from New York City for this performance.

Steven Sametz, in his program notes for this work, reminds his audience that images of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, dominated the news on Dec. 14, 2012. Chief among them, he writes, was the photograph of a line of children being led out of the school to the nearby fire station.

“Twenty children and six teachers and administrators were slain that day,” Sametz said. “Sandy Hook pointed to basic human fears we carry within us: the fear as children that our world is not safe, and the fear as adults that we can’t keep the world safe for children.”



Pre-Concert Program at 7 p. m., Sanders Theatre


There will be a short pre-concert program featuring Steven Sametz, composer of A Child’s Requiem; and a representative of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss.



Director's Program Notes


Check this space for Music Director Lisa Graham's program notes as the concert date approaches.



Directions & Parking

Sanders Theatre


Parking and public transportation: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~memhall/directions.html

Venue is Wheelchair Accessible.

Venue website: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~memhall/sanders.html