Song of America in the Classroom: A Media Event (Dec. 2015) Archival Video

Levin Performance Studio @ WFMT
Chicago, IL

Featuring Thomas Hampson

On Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11am-3pm, the Hampsong Foundation hosted a special event in collaboration with the WFMT Radio Network and WTTW promoting and advocating for the Song of America Curriculum Initiative through discussion of song as a tool to teach the arts and humanities, especially American history and literature.

The event was live-streamed and available on the Hampsong Foundation website in real time and promoted the use of new media and technology in the classroom, a mandate embraced by both the Hampsong Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.

The event began with a keynote address by Thomas Hampson, in which he spoke about his passion for telling the story of history and culture through classic song. This facilitated a roundtable discussion with special guests, who joined in a conversation about on this topic. The special guests also presented specific lessons that they explored with educators in past workshops. The event concluded with a special live performance featuring artists from the Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and focused on songs related to the material covered in Song of America.

For more information, please download the program above and see the biographies of participants listed below.

File Download

Program from this event

Dec. 12, 2015 ‘Song of America’ in the Classroom (pdf / 1.74 MB)

Part of

Song of America for Educators

Highlights from Thomas Hampson's Keynote Address (Dec. 12, 2015)

Participants in this event included


Thomas Hampson

Founder & Director, The Hampsong Foundation

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. He enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. Comprising more than 150 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque.


Steve Robinson

Former Executive Vice President & General Manager of WFMT

Robinson served as vice president of radio and general manager of WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network from 2000 until 2016 after a decade as head of Nebraska Public Radio Network and general manager of KUCV in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Dan Tolly

Song of America Curriculum Initiative Master Teacher

Daniel D. Tolly is an award-winning music educator whose passion and unique approach to teaching have been recognized with several awards, among them the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize, for excellence and innovation in K­12 history teaching, the University of Michigan University Musical Society’s Teacher of the Year, and earlier in his career, the National Association of Jazz Educators’ Director of the Year Award at the Wichita Jazz Festival.


Susan Key

Song of America Curriculum Initiative Master Teacher & Advisor

After eleven years teaching high school, Susan Key earned a Ph.D. in musicology and taught at the College of William and Mary and Stanford University. Former Special Projects Director at the San Francisco Symphony, she is currently an Honors Affiliated Faculty member at Chapman University (California) and Executive Director of the Star Spangled Music Foundation.


Carolyn Paulin

Producer and Audio Editor of the Song of America radio series

Carolyn Paulin is a freelance choral conductor and classical music radio producer; she served as Producer and Audio Editor of the Song of America and Song: Mirror of the World radio series.


Mark Clague

Associate Professor of Musicology, University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Director, U-M Gershwin Initiative; Co-Editor-in-Chief, MUSA; Associate Professor Entrepreneurship & Leadership; Song of America Curriculum Initiative Master Teacher & Advisor


Annie Rosen


For more about Annie Rosen, please visit her website.


Richard Ollarsaba


For more about Richard Ollarsaba, please visit the website below.


Jonathan Johnson


For more about Jonathan Johnson, please visit the website below.


Craig Terry


Pianist Craig Terry has launched an international career regularly performing with some of the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists; he is currently Music Director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and is in his eleventh season as Assistant Conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Annie Rosen sings Aaron Copland’s “The World Feels Dusty”

Richard Ollarsaba sings Leonard Bernstein’s “To What You Said”

Jonathan Johnson sings Ned Rorem's "Look Down, Fair Moon" & "Reconciliation"

Related Resources


Song of America: Beyond the Song (June 2016) Archival Video


Song of America: Song in Dialogue (April 2016) Archival Video


Song of America Educator Workshop (Dec. 2015) Archival Materials


Song of America Past Workshops and Events