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As the nation prepares for the 46th Presidential Inauguration, this week's Pick of the Week brings you an edition centered on the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, including the 2014 performance by baritone Thomas Hampson and two fascinating panel discussions. We hope this edition sparks your curiosity to learn more about the Star-Spangled Banner history through the holdings at the Library of Congress.
Internationally-renowned baritone Thomas Hampson presents a special program commemorating the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. The program includes American music from colonial days to the present, rare historical documents from the Library's extensive collections. Hampson is joined by the University of Michigan Alumni Chorus, Mark Clague (University of Michigan) and pianist Matthew Thompson.
Susan Key, executive director of the Star Spangled Music Foundation, and Mark Clague, associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, join James Wintle, reference specialist in the Library of Congress music division, in a discussion about the national anthem.
The Library's stacks include a trove of arrangements of our national anthem, including Stravinsky's "The Star-Spangled Banner," and "Ode to the Star-Spangled Banner" by Ferde Grofé. This panel discusses the history and value of revamping one of our most provocative songs. Panelists include Matt Spivey, vice president of artistic operations, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Loras John Schissel, music division, Library of Congress, Neil Grauer, assistant director of editorial services, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Nicholas Alexander Brown, music division, Library of Congress.