Boston Conservatory Orchestra Celebrates Black History Month

This powerful performance, featuring Anita Hill reciting the words of Martin Luther King Jr., will take place at Boston’s Symphony Hall. 

January 11, 2024

Boston Conservatory at Berklee's spring Center Stage season will kick off on Friday, February 16 with Boston Conservatory Orchestra: Celebrating Black History Month, a concert showcasing several works by historically important Black composers, as well as compositions that shine a spotlight on key figures from Black history. The performance will take place at Symphony Hall in Boston at 8:00 p.m.

At the heart of the performance, acclaimed scholar, attorney, and author Anita Hill will recite the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in Joseph Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World.” Led by conductor and professor Bruce Hangen, Boston Conservatory Orchestra will also perform music by William Grant Still (“Festive Overture”) and Margaret Bonds (The Montgomery Variations), as well as a recent work by Valerie Coleman (“Seven O‘Clock Shout”) celebrating the spontaneous outdoor applause that New York City medical professionals received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will conclude with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” which will include previously unperformed, long-lost parts specially prepared by Hangen for this performance. 

Anita Hill smiling in headshot

Anita Hill

This performance also marks one of several collaborations between the Conservatory and Berklee's Africana Studies Division designed to illuminate the social, artistic, cultural, and historical contributions of the global African diaspora within performance programming and the curriculum. “It is a tremendous honor for the Boston Conservatory Orchestra to perform this program of important works during Black History Month,” said Michael Shinn, interim executive director for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “This performance will be one of the most poignant and significant events of the academic year for the Conservatory. I cannot wait to experience this beautiful program at Symphony Hall.”

Boston Conservatory Orchestra: Celebrating Black History Month will take place at Symphony Hall, located at 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for Boston Conservatory Orchestra: Celebrating Black History Month are $17 for general admission seating and $12 for Boston Conservatory at Berklee students. View additional events in Boston Conservatory’s spring Center Stage season.