The Classic Song Research Initiative’s first formal collaboration began on June 11 with a series of weekly Facebook Live conversations called The Art of Democracy. The series was hosted by Thomas Hampson and Mark Clague, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Associate Professor of Musicology and Entrepreneurship and Leadership at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. For more information about each conversation, see section below.
The series continues with a special online event on July 4, 2020. Please see below for more details!
“The Art of Democracy will incorporate a range of research and performance projects exploring the role of song and all the arts in American political life,” said Clague. “For example, we will interrogate the role of the arts as part of the problem, and as part of the solution, to the pestilence of inequality. The project’s fundamental argument is that art is a vital tool in the dialogue of ideals—for sharing, understanding, debating, negotiating, and changing one’s mind—that is at the core of any society striving to form a more perfect union.”
The Art of Democracy: Voices of Wisdom (Online Event on July 4, 2020)
The Classic Song Research Initiative, a partnership between the Hampsong Foundation and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, formally launched its first exploration of “The Art of Democracy” with a series of conversations in June 2020.
On July 4, 2020, “The Art of Democracy” project will continue with an online feature offering a glimpse into some works of art that ask questions of our American democratic experiment, many of which are related to last month’s conversations.
Two special musical works will be presented in their entirety for limited viewing/listening; these specially-chosen, contemporary works by American composers for voice and orchestra explore the words and ideals of two great American leaders: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
You can watch these events live online on July 4, 2020:
- 11am Eastern / 17h Central European: Adolphus Hailstork’s Songs of Love and Justice (1992), setting the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (introduction to the work by Dr. Louise Toppin)
- 2pm Eastern / 20h Central European: Michael Daugherty’s Letters from Lincoln (2009), featuring special conversations with the composer as well as conductor Laura Jackson
The events will be broadcast live on the Hampsong Foundation’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/hampsong.foundation/
These audio/video presentations will be available in this form (on Facebook and subsequently on this website) for one week following the live broadcasts (until July 11).
In addition, we are thrilled to feature some work by the artists and scholars who joined our June 2020 “The Art of Democracy” conversation series, including Dr. Bill Banfield, Dr. Maria Corley, Dr. Caroline Helton, Dr. Emery Stephens and Dr. Louise Toppin. Stay tuned to this website, and to Facebook, for more information!
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.Website
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 & AdvisorWebsite
Dr. Mark Clague on "The Art of Democracy"
June 4, 2020: “The Art of Democracy will incorporate a range of research and performance projects exploring the role of song and all the arts in American political life. For example, we will interrogate the role of the arts as part of the problem, and as part of the solution, to the pestilence of inequality. The project’s fundamental argument is that art is a vital tool in the dialogue of ideals—for sharing, understanding, debating, negotiating, and changing one’s mind—that is at the core of any society striving to form a more perfect union.”