Chapel Tuesday Noon Hour Recitals in association with Garden State Sacred Harp
Singers, Inc. presents
Billings 2000 -- The Bicentennial
a celebration of the life and work of Colonial
and Federal America's preeminent composer
held in observance of the 200th anniversary of his death
Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Tremont and School Streets
On 59 evenings from January 18 to August 9, 1786, at a pay of 12
shillings per session, William Billings taught singing at King's Chapel
to "such persons of both sexes as incline to sing psalm-tunes." On
Tuesday, December 21, 1790 at 3 o'clock, during a period when the
composer was suffering considerable financial distress, a concert of
sacred music, encompassing both instrumental and vocal music, was held
there for his benefit, with tickets selling for 2 shillings each.
Billings died in Boston exactly two hundred years before the date of
our commemoration, on September 26, 1800.
NB The singing on September 26, 2000 will be led, in the
spirit of a traditional American singing school, by a distinguished
group of choral music, early music, American music, and psalmody
specialists--and by anyone else who volunteers (this means you!).
Requests for particular compositions of Mr. Billings to be included
in the public demonstration or in the remainder of the day's singing
will be entertained at the e-mail address given below.
Getting There from Here
NEW! Travel directions to King's Chapel
by car and by public transportation.
- 11:00 am Practice session for experienced psalm-singers wishing
to participate in the public demonstration of singing that follows.
- 12:15-12:45 pm King's Chapel Tuesday Noon Hour Recitals presents
"A Demonstration of Singing": hymns, anthems, fuge-tunes &c.
compos'd by William Billings and sung by an Accomplish'd Body
of Enthusiastic Psalm-Singers gathered from New-England, Old England,
and Points Beyond, with an Invitation to the Public to participate in
- 12:45 pm Dinner recess.
- 2:00 pm Singing at King's Chapel and a visit to the Central
Burying Ground on Boston Common, where a pious civic legend holds that
Billings is interred in an unmarked grave.
- 5:45 pm Supper recess at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138
Tremont Street. (Potluck contributions welcome but not required.)
- 7:30-9:45 pm Singing at King's Chapel, with a welcome infusion of
fresh voices from those singers who are able to attend in the evening
For more information: email@example.com
Other Billings events of interest in New England
It happened a while ago, but you can still see what we got up to on
the 250th anniversary of Billing's BIRTH at our Billings
This page last updated 2000-09-22