Song of America: Telling the Story of American Culture is a production of The Hampsong Foundation. It was produced by Miriam Lewin of Lavine Production Group, with camera and editing by Randi Cecchine. Our thanks to singers Catherine Swindle, Nita Baxani, and Justin Austin; pianist and composer Richard Pearson Thomas; the Stephen Gaynor School in New York City; and the staff at Teachers College, Columbia University.
WelcomeWe invite performers, educators, and all lovers of song to explore connections between poetry and music, between history and culture, through the work of American composers and poets. Song of America is a database resource where you can listen to songs, read their texts, learn more about them (and the composers, poets, and eras connected to them), find scores, and link to other resources. Major projects within Song of America include the Song of America Radio Series and Song of America For Educators. Song of America is a project of The Hampsong Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding through the art of song.
Some of Swanson's most lasting and masterful compositions are art songs, setting the poetry of American poets Paul Laurence Dunbar, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Vachel Lindsay, Carl Sandburg, and several others.
Photo: Howard Swanson, The New Georgia Encyclopedia
Though Christina Rossetti was British, her poetry has been set by countless American composers.
Image: Christina Rossetti, public domain
- “Song is a metaphor of the imagination,” says America’s foremost baritone Thomas Hampson. “It is poetic thought encapsulated in music. Poetry is driven by the basic instinct to tell the story of existence, and American poetry explores the cultural roots of our nation.” To empower all of those affected and inspired by song, Hampson makes a further offering: the Hampsong Foundation.
- the Colburn School, featuring song settings of poetry by the great American writers Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes. Join us for this free, day-long event!
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Featured BookArt Song in the United States, 1759-1999: An Annotated Bibliography J. Carman, W. Gaeddert, & R. Resch
Featured ESSAYConcord, Massachusetts Hampson & Verdino-Süllwold
- Master Classes & Lectures Learn more about American song by watching and listening to master classes and lectures about American song. View Media
- Interviews & Programs Explore American song with experts in the field while listening to excerpts and entire programs in this section of the Media Room. View Media