Public Program- American Harmony

Lectures and Performances
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 7:00pm to Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 6:45pm

“‘Slices of Time Past’: Choral Music from Eighteenth-Century America”

A musical performance by American Harmony with commentary by Nym Cooke

When we in the twenty-first century listen, say, to Justin Morgan's fiery, tempestuous “Judgment Anthem,” our outer experience of these seven and a half minutes of time is almost exactly the same as Americans’ in 1790, when the piece was composed. This concert in Antiquarian Hall, performed by the chorus American Harmony and directed by musician and AAS member Nym Cooke, will bring to life about a dozen precisely-filled vessels of eighteenth-century American time—otherwise known as psalm tunes, fuging tunes, and anthems. All the pieces in this program are taken from Cooke's just-published choral collection American Harmony. Cooke will provide commentary, there will be an exhibit of early tune books (printed and manuscript), and copies of the Cooke's anthology will be available for purchase.

Nym Cooke is a leading scholar of early American sacred music, and his publications include an edition of the complete music of Timothy Swan for the national series Music of the United States of America (1999), a chapter on sacred music to 1800 in the Cambridge History of American Music (1998), and two volumes of carols and part-songs, Awake to Joy! (1997). An accomplished choral conductor and arranger of music, he has taught at the College of the Holy Cross and Brandeis University and presently teaches music, history, writing, and meditation at Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

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