Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
Thomas Lee erected this statue of Alexander Hamilton on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Celebrating J.S Bach

The Choir of Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston will join the “Bach in the Subways” international celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s 333rd birthday week at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

The 30 - 50 member chorus will present a performance of his motet “Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf” (The Holy Spirit aids our weakness) for double chorus and continuo. This particular Bach motet, dating from 1729, is an eight-minute “choral concerto” of exuberance, celebrating the joy of the Holy Spirit at work in the world.

The chorus sings regularly for services at Trinity Church and is often heard on tour, most recently as choir-in-residence at Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral in England.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for further details.

Diaz speaking at library

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz will be the guest of the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.

Diaz will present his latest book “Islandborn,” his first children’s book about identity and belonging that captures both the joy and hardships of life in an urban, mostly immigrant community.

A Q&A will follow.

“Islandborn” will be available for sale in both English and Spanish. Purchasing a copy of “Islandborn” will be required to join the signing line. Diaz will sign up to three backlist titles for patrons who have purchased “Islandborn.” Seating at this event is limited and will be first-come first-served.

Diaz is the author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” “This is How You Lose Her” and more. Admission is free.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Dr. King’s last hours

Journalist Joseph Rosenbloom will be the guest speaker at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. March 27.

His latest book “Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours,” is an intimate look at the last fateful hours of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. It draws on dozens of the author’s interviews with people who were involved in the Memphis events as well as on recently released documents from archives in Atlanta. The fresh material yields a wealth of illuminating detail, including a lapse, never before reported, by the Memphis Police Department to provide security for King. It juxtaposes the narrative of King’s last hours in Memphis with an account of what his assassin James Earl Ray was doing in Memphis at the same time.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Music of Broadway

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome students from the Boston Conservatory of Music in a free concert at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 29.

The Conservatory Cabaret will perform a musical filled with show tunes, well-known standards and popular tunes of today.

Call 617-536-5400 for further information.

Good Friday concert

Music for All at Trinity Church will present the annual Good Friday concert at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, at Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.

The critically-acclaimed Lafarge Ensemble will offer a concert featuring the “Passio” by Arvo Pärt.

Tickets are not required, but a donation of $20 is suggested.

For more information, visit or call 617-536-0944.

Native Americans and anti-slavery

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a free talk, “Native Americans and the Anti-Slavery Movement” at noon on Wednesday, April 4.

Natalie Joy of Northern Illinois University will explore Native American participation in the American antislavery movement from the 1830s to the 1860s.

In addition to attending meetings, Indians signed petitions, donated money, organized fundraising fairs, held positions in antislavery societies and assisted fugitive slaves. Most significantly, they influenced abolitionist thought on a number of issues.

Further information is available by calling 617-646-0578 or online at

Introduction to genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will host a New Visitors Day at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4.

This free orientation and tour will introduce resources available at the NEHGS research facility, home to more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs and records to help research family histories. Tour attendees are welcome to use the resources following the tour. Registration is not required.

Further information can be found at or by calling 888-296-3447.

Art of Haiti

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., is displaying “Migrating Colors,” artworks by Haitian artists, now through April 2.

This impactful and beautiful exhibit features the work of several artists from the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts. Artwork of various influences and mediums depict the daily lives, Haitian landscapes, spirituality, vaudou and memories of its artists and the resiliency, creativity and sustainability of the Haitian people.

This exhibition follows the release of the art book “Migrating Colors: Haitian Art in New England,” which features the artwork of more than 30 artists of the association.

The exhibition is free, but reservations are required. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit

Student art exhibition

The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University will display works by seniors of the Illustration program now to March 30 at the gallery at 75 Arlington St.

This exhibit features the work of Illustration seniors Caela Chau, Sylvan Huynh and Jacqueline Mancini, which exemplifies the creative process and inventive thinking and represents the best ideas used in illustration.

Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Call 617-573-8785 or visit for more information.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.