The Library of Congress is launching a multidimensional program to celebrate "Creativity Across America." The program began with the Library's fifth annual National Book Festival on Sept. 24 and will continue with an 11-city, seven-month concert tour featuring internationally acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson, one of the most popular and sought-after singers of this generation. Hampson, a native of Spokane, Wash., is renowned for his versatility, imagination and vocal charisma.
"The 'Song of America' tour with Tom Hampson is part of an unprecedented national program that the Library of Congress is initiating to celebrate creativity across America," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "America is a wellspring of new ideas in music, literature, poetry, film and other forms of artistic expression. As the home of the Copyright Office of the United States, the Library of Congress has been the repository and mint record of American creativity since 1870. We want to celebrate the energy and inventive spirit that is such an integral part of our cultural history, and I cannot think of a more qualified and accomplished ambassador for the first part of our initiative than Tom."
Hampson's long-standing collaboration with the Library of Congress grew out of a vision shared with Billington—to honor the history and preservation of American song and to reveal to new audiences the breadth and depth of the Library's unparalleled collections of musical scores and recordings. One of the goals of the project is to reach out to young people, who may not be familiar with the great depth and variety of American song and story, and each stop on the concert tour will include an educational component in which Hampson will interact with students.
Additionally, the Library will send its educational outreach staff to each concert city, and the Music Division will conduct daylong teacher institutes for local K-12 educators. Invited teachers will learn how to access the Library's unique collections, analyze documents to encourage critical thinking skills and generate lesson ideas related to various facets of the Library's collections.
"The richness of the Library's music collections lies not only in the coverage of American concert, popular, ethnic and folk music but also in the wealth of European concert music, opera scores and librettos, as well as the symphonic and chamber music of the 20th century," said Hampson.
Hampson is a passionate singer of the music of America by such poets and composers as Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman and Aaron Copland. His dedication to American song has led to several recital tours, recordings, multimedia projects and television programs.
The concert tour will begin on Nov. 12, at the Carlsen Center in Overland Park, Kan., and travel to Bass Hall in Forth Worth, Texas, on Nov. 15. Hampson will perform at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 19, 2006.
The "Song of America" tour has been made possible by friends of the Library of Congress and members of its private advisory group, the James Madison Council.
For more information on the Library's celebration of "Creativity Across America," visit the Library's Web site at www.loc.gov/creativity/hampson/.
Creativity Across America: Song of America Tour
Nov. 12, 2005
Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.
Nov. 15, 2005
Founders Concert Theater, Bass Hall, Fort Worth, Texas
Jan. 8, 2006
Verizon Hall, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia
Jan. 17, 2006
Main Hall, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, Minn.
Jan. 19, 2006
Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York
March 15, 2006
Orchestra Hall, Detroit
March 19, 2006
Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Hall, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, Fla.
March 21, 2006
Main Hall, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, University of Mississippi, Oxford
May 28, 2006
Orchestra Hall, Chicago
May 30, 2006
Holland Performing Arts Center, Omaha, Neb.
June 3, 2006
Fox California Theatre, San Jose, Calif