[Andover, MA] Andover Choral Society is proud to announce that the chorus and its music director, Dr. Michael Driscoll, have won The American Prize’s 2019-2020 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in the community ensemble division, for their premiere recording of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Florence Price (1887-1953). The Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, based on submitted recordings. Learn more about The American Prize at www.theamericanprize.org.
“Receiving this award is a huge honor for me and for the members of Andover Choral Society,” said Dr. Driscoll. “I deeply appreciate The American Prize’s recognition of our premiere recording of Florence Price’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, and I am thrilled that more people will get to know one of Price’s extended choral works as a result of this recognition.” The concert features performances by pianist Valerie J. Becker, soprano Kynesha Patterson, baritone Philip Lima, and the Andover Choral Society. According to Mr. Lima, “it has been an honor to be part of the K effort to remedy the description of Florence Price as a composer mentioned more often than she is heard.”
Florence Price (1887-1953) was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and to have a composition played by a major orchestra. In 2009, a substantial collection of her works and papers was found in an abandoned house. One of those works was Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, a choral work with piano accompaniment set to a poem by Vachel Lindsay. Dr. Driscoll edited the performing edition of the unpublished score. Andover Choral Society’s May 2019 performance and recording are believed to be the first performance and recording of Price’s piano-accompanied version of this work. Several local cable stations in the Merrimack Valley will be airing the entire May 2019 concert in October. The recording is also available on the Andover Choral Society’s YouTube channel.
About Andover Choral Society
Andover Choral Society is dedicated to presenting exceptional performances, connecting to the larger community, and fostering an appreciation of choral music. Since 1929, membership has been open to anyone with a love for great choral music and a desire to share that love with others. Visit andoverchoralsociety.org for more information.