Song of America Fellowship


The Song of America Fellowship is a paid research opportunity for self-motivated performer-scholars or musicology majors at the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (U-M SMTD). The program, which has run since Fall 2021, currently includes four students and is part of the Classic Song Research Initiative partnership between U-M SMTD and the Hampsong Foundation.

Song of America Fellows for the 2023-2024 Academic Year include:

  • Emma Beachy
  • Ava Chupp
  • Jack Morin
  • Lucy Koukoudian

Elements of this Fellowship include:

  • weekly or bi-weekly group meetings to discuss issues of equity, diversity and social justice, and how to manifest DEI work via the Song of America database (, as well as individual performance, career and scholarly goals;
    • Students will also participate in regular individual mentorship meetings as well;
  • writing and research for Song of America, both on an individual basis, and perhaps at times as a team, to develop content on Song of America;
  • if interested, taking part in creating a Song of America event on campus; involvement could be via performance, scholarship, education or general public musicology.

The Fellowship compensation is paid as an hourly wage of $15/hour ($20/hour for graduate students). Students are required to invest a minimum of five hours weekly in the Fellowship and can work up to 10 hours per week. The work takes place remotely.

An ideal SOA Fellow is an excellent researcher and writer, as well as someone who is organized and able to successfully accomplish projects on their own. An expressed interest in American history and culture, as well as classical vocal music, are not required, but are advantageous.

This Fellowship gives U-M SMTD, and its students, a stake in and real sense of ownership of the resource Song of America, which Thomas Hampson began in collaboration with the Library of Congress in 2005, and which became a project of the Hampsong Foundation in 2009. Song of America averages 45K users worldwide monthly and will ideally have a mirror website on the U-M Deep Blue by the end of 2024.

The SOA Fellowship is coordinated by Christie Finn, who is the Research Administrator of the Classic Song Research Initiative, the Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation, and a freelance singer and scholar who has worked for over a decade in North America and Europe. In previous semesters, she has taught “The Savvy Singer” EXCEL course at U-M SMTD; she has served on the faculty of the Singing Down the Barriers Summer Institute, an adult education program of SMTD, since its founding in 2021.

Interested students should contact Christie Finn ([email protected]) with writing samples and an explanation of why they are interested in the program. There is no application deadline; fellows will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full.

Learn more about the two Song of America Fellows (who worked in both the 2021-2022 & 2022-2023 academic years) via a feature in the Michigan MUSE Magazine, Summer 2022.

The entire Michigan MUSE Magazine, Summer 2022 is available here.

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University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, & Dance

Partner since 2015

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Classic Song Research Initiative