Pierce Performance Series

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the inaugural 2019 Pierce Performance.
Please save the date for next year's event: Thursday, March 19, 2020.


The Pierce Performance Series was launched to raise the visibility of the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections through free public performances and lectures. For our inaugural event, we commemorated the 150th anniversary of the National Peace Jubilee. In 2020, we will focus on women's suffrage.

Commemorating the Peace Jubilee

In 1869 Americans from across the country gathered in Copley Square to celebrate the end of the Civil War with a five-day patriotic musical extravaganza. Patrick Gilmore’s National Peace Jubilee featured over 10,000 vocalists, 1,000 musicians and 100 firemen hammering on anvils, performing for an audience of over 30,000 people in a temporary building dubbed the “Temple of Peace.” At the time, it was the biggest musical event ever held in America.

Pierce Performance
To mark the 150th anniversary of this momentous occasion, the Associates of the Boston Public Library is holding a free event commemorating the Peace Jubilee and telling its story for contemporary Bostonians, just steps from the original location.

The evening will feature:

  • Patriotic brass and choral performances by New England Conservatory (NEC) including My Country Tis of Thee, Lascia ch'io pianga, Hallelujah Chorus and Star Spangled Banner;
  • Mirroring the original event, NEC musicians will be joined by local firemen hammering on anvils for the Anvil Chorus;
  • Poetry by the City of Boston's Poet Laureate, Porsha Olayiwola;
  • An explanation of the original Peace Jubilee by Jake Sconyers and Nikki Stewart from the HUB History podcast; and
  • A keynote address on leadership by Professor Theodore C. Landsmark, Director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.

Join us at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Friday, March 29th for the inaugural event in the Pierce Performance Series. Doors open at 7 PM and the performance starts at 7:30 PM. Cash bar. Registration is required for this free event.


Suggested Reading