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June 11, 2014

Library of Congress to Celebrate 200th Anniversary of the National Anthem with Thomas Hampson Concert, Panel Discussion and Display of Artifacts, July 3

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the national anthem of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner," the Library of Congress will present a free concert featuring preeminent lyric baritone Thomas Hampson, a panel discussion among esteemed music experts and a display of treasured artifacts.

Hampson will perform at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The concert is free and open to the public, but tickets are needed. Tickets are distributed by TicketMaster at (202) 397-7328, (410) 547-7328 and (703) 573-7328. Ticketing service charges apply. For further information, please call (202) 707-5502.

Prior to the concert, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, a panel discussion titled "Poets and Patriotism: The 200th Birthday of the Star-Spangled Banner" will feature Mark Clague, associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan; Susan Key, executive director of the Star Spangled Music Foundation, and James Wintle, a reference specialist in the Library of Congress Music Division. The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground level of the Jefferson Building. Tickets are not needed.

National anthem-related artifacts are now on exhibit through Monday, July 7, in three display cases on the first floor of the Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Artifacts include early and rare editions of "The Anacreontic Song," the well-known tune used by Francis Scott Key to set his lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Banner"; information about "The Anacreontic Song" composer, John Stafford Smith; early prints of Key’s poem; information on "The Star-Spangled Banner’s" path to anthem status; and the first official government version of the anthem that sets the standards on its melody and lyrics.

The Library’s Music Division has an unparalleled collection of national anthem-related materials. The Music Division’s Performing Arts Reading Room is the main research center in the country for the study of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A one-day display in the foyer of the Coolidge Auditorium on July 3 will focus on the Music Division’s large collection of extremely rare and seldom-seen patriotic music imprints from the Early Federal Period of the United States, 1782 to the 1820s. The display also will highlight a selection of the earliest editions of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which will demonstrate the standard of music publishing in the United States in the early 19th century.

Hampson, an internationally renowned singer who has appeared worldwide in opera houses and concert halls, will be accompanied by pianist Matthew Thompson and the University of Michigan Alumni Chorus. Selections will include songs by Joseph Haydn, Stephen Foster and Francis Hopkinson. Hampson and musicologist Clague will have an on-stage chat about the history of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The concert will include an audience sing-along for "America the Beautiful," "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The concert and panel discussion are presented by the Library’s Music Division with the generous support of the Star Spangled Music Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inspired by the 2014 bicentennial of the U.S. national anthem, The Star Spangled Music Foundation is dedicated to sharing instructional resources and educational projects about American patriotic song. The mission of the foundation is to foster appreciation and deeper understanding of the patriotic music of the United States along with its historical and cultural significance through research, education, performance, and multi-media resources, with a special focus on K-12 teachers and students. For more information, visit www.starspangledmusic.org (external link).

The Library of Congress Music Division, with more than 21 million items, holds the world's largest music collection. Particular areas of strength include opera (scores and librettos), stage and screen musicals, chamber music, jazz and American popular song. The Music Division is home to approximately 600 archival collections, most of them the personal papers (including music scores as well as correspondence, photographs, legal and financial documents, programs, clippings and other materials) documenting the lives and careers of stellar composers and performers. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/perform/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 14-103
06/11/14
ISSN 0731-3527

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