A silver anniversary concert at Boston's Symphony Hall will celebrate the milestone tenure of Boston College Distinguished Artist-in-Residence John Finney as conductor of the University Chorale of Boston College. The April 7 event will feature the Chorale and the Boston College Symphony Orchestra, of which Finney also has long been at the helm.

John Finney conducting
John Finney at the University Chorale Christmas concert in 2017. (Yiting Chen)

"Symphony Hall is one of the finest concert halls in the entire world, and I am absolutely thrilled the University Chorale and the BC Symphony Orchestra will have the opportunity to perform there," said Finney, recognized as one of the most important musicians in the Boston area. "It is an immense honor for me to conduct these fine students in making music in this glorious hall.

"The excitement among the members of the Chorale and Orchestra is tremendous," he added. "There is a feeling among them that this will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting concerts they will ever perform."

"Performing at Symphony Hall will be something I never forget," said Chorale President George Liddy '18. "[It] is such a grand and historic space—ito be able to perform in that building is an honor. I have heard from some seniors that they feel this may be the highlight of their musical careers.  

"It is wonderful for the entire University Chorale as well as the BCSO to show our appreciation for John and all the hard work he has given to our groups and to Boston College over the past quarter-century. I hope [the audience] hears the music as a testament to JohnÕs abilities, and sees that he has been able to bring together members of the Boston College community for the last 25 years to make incredible sounds."

The Chorale and Orchestra will perform together for most of the concert; there also will also be selections played by the orchestra alone, including the "Academic Festival Overture" by Brahms. Also on the program will be Orff's "Carmina Burana," Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," Wilberg's "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and "Tollite Hostias" by Saint-Sa‘ns (the Chorale's "theme-song," quips Finney).

"I hope the audience will be as proud of our Boston College students as I am, and I hope that the audience enjoys every note of this concert," Finney said. "We have chosen a program that features musical selections that have been great favorites of our students and audience members alike."

"As a senior, the opportunity to perform in Symphony Hall is one that is both exciting as well as somewhat bittersweet," said Annie Kim, who is concertmaster of the Orchestra and a Chorale member.  "I have been playing with John and the BCSO for four years, and this is the culminating experience of my time. Symphony Hall is one of the most beautiful—iboth acoustically and visually—concert halls in the world, and to be able to perform for John's 25th anniversary, under [his] direction, is an incredible honor."

The Symphony Hall event follows in the tradition of a concert conducted there by Finney's predecessor, C. Alexander Peloquin, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary with the Chorale.

Both performing groups have a strong following, and Liddy and Kim will have special fans in the audience of the famed venue. Liddy's parents will attend their first-ever Chorale concert, and Liddy said he is thrilled they will share this "great experience."

"Without their support, I would not have been able to pursue music at Boston College and I'm forever thankful for them allowing me to perform with, and pushing me to lead, the University Chorale."

Kim said the presence of BC friend and faculty at the concert will be "extremely meaningful" to her: "My experience playing in the Orchestra and my involvement in the chamber music program have been some of the most formative experiences of my time at BC."

Concert tickets, which are general admission, will be reasonably priced, according to organizers, and must be purchased via the Symphony Hall Box Office. For information, visit the University Chorale website.

Read a Q&A with Finney about his 25-year milestone here.

—Rosanne Pellegrini | University Communications