Thinkers and Doers: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Thomas Hampson, a 2010 inductee into the Academy of Arts & Sciences, gave a performance at this year’s induction ceremony in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre. At the ceremony, Hampson, who has been working with the Library of Congress on the “Song of America Project” – exploring the nation’s history and spirit through its songs, from the 1700s to the present day – was accompanied by NEC faculty member Tanya Blaich at the piano. He sang three of the discoveries he made through this project: “My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free” by Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; “Ethiopia Saluting the Colors”, a setting of the Walt Whitman poem by the great African-American composer Henry Burleigh; and Michael Daugherty’s setting of Lincoln’s “Letter to Mrs. Bixby”, all three of which were discussed by Hampson before the performance. The event ended with Hampson leading a sing-along of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Thomas Hampson’s discussion and performance can now be heard on-line here: