Concert Celebrates 125th Year of Sacred Music

May 1, 2019 — At 2:30 pm on Sunday, May 5, NMH will celebrate the 125th annual Concert of Sacred Music in the same location where the now-beloved school tradition started in 1895 and has been held every year since. 

The Auditorium on NMH’s original campus in Northfield is the one place where virtually every student who attended NMH and its predecessor institutions gathered to sing. All current NMH students will attend this year’s concert, as will alumni from many decades who return to perform with NMH’s student vocal and instrumental groups. 

No reservations or tickets are required for the event. Sacred Concert will be livestreamed for those who can't attend in person.

This year’s musical theme is joy, and directors Steve Bathory-Peeler and Sheila Heffernon have chosen exhilarating pieces for the program, including three movements from Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” and the first movement from a new work by Dan Forrest, “Jubilate Deo.” These pieces will be performed by the NMH Symphony Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Concert Choir and the Alumni Choir. A 60-person Alumni Choir will join the concert to sing a gospel piece by Rollo Dillworth, “I Sing Because I’m Happy.” 
“For a high school to have a tradition of music making that has continued for 125 years is remarkable,” says Heffernon. Sacred Concert has changed over the decades, evolving from a concert of Christian hymns to a program that reflects the whole NMH community and honors the sacred in all traditions. The school’s focus on spirituality and community continues through the decades.

“Music is one of the most profound ways in which we connect with our spirituality,” says Heffernon. “It connects us with each other, as well. Making music together creates community. Even after 39 years of doing music here at NMH, I still marvel, each year, how lucky I am to be at an institution that values the arts and understands their significance in our humanity.”

Learn about the history of Sacred Concert.