Author Archives: usmusicscholar

About usmusicscholar

I am an Associate Professor of Musicology, American Culture and African-American Studies at the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Renée Fleming Brings Opera to 100 Million at Super Bowl XLVIII

“Grammy Award-Winner and Soprano Superstar” Renée Fleming brought her silky but power packed voice to Super Bowl XLVII in an artistic performance featuring both vocal command and expressive taste. It was a banner moment for Fleming and a pop culture … Continue reading

Posted in Arranging, Football, meter, Renée Fleming, Sports, Super Bowl | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Making of Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 — An Interview with Director & Designer Anne Patterson

Backstage at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, Nevada and just prior to the 4 p.m. March 17, 2013 premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s orchestral tone poem Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor … Continue reading

Posted in Anne Patterson, Artists, Beyoncé, Chesapeake: Summer of 1814, Compositions, Drama, Emotion, Gandolfi, Imagery, Politics | Leave a comment

Tears Bursting in Air: Michael Gandolfi’s 4-Verse Setting of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At the close of Michael Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 the audiences rises with the instrumentalists and chorus to sing the first and best-known verse of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Sitting in Row G, Seat 14 on the … Continue reading

Posted in Arranging, Composers, Gandolfi, melody, Music, Spangled History | Leave a comment

Complete Lyrics to Francis Scott Key’s Song “The Star-Spangled Banner”

“The Star-Spangled Banner” Complete lyrics to Francis Scott Key’s song O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Star Spangled Cantata—Michael Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814

On March 17 & 19, 2013 the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of music director Laura Jackson will premiere Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 by Boston-based composer Michael Gandolfi (b. 1956), written on an “historical design” by Dana Bonstrom … Continue reading

Posted in Anacreontic Song, Arranging, Composers, Gandolfi, Hail Columbia, melody, Music, Patriotic Songs, Yankee Doodle | Leave a comment

“The Anacreontic Song”—British Source Tune for the U.S. National Anthem

“The Anacreontic Song,” or “To Anacreon in Heaven” with words by Ralph Tomlinson and music by John Stafford Smith is the source for the tune Francis Scott Key had in mind when he composed the lyric “In Defence of Fort … Continue reading

Posted in Banner Legends, Music, Mythbuster, Spangled History | 1 Comment

“Land of Liberty”—An Original Spangled Songs Contribution by Ann Arbor Lawton Elementary

Francis Scott Key is one of the legendary figures of American history; he can also be an inspiration to us today. To dig more deeply into the meaning and significance of Key’s lyrical creation—”In Defence of Fort McHenry,” now known … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Elementary, Songwriting, Spangled Songs | 2 Comments

How “The Star-Spangled Banner” Became Part of Football Pageantry

The Banner plays roles symbolic, commercial, and practical in professional football.  When the Banner begins, all eyes in the stadium turn towards the flag, men remove their hats, and all place their left hand over their heart. The Banner announces … Continue reading

Posted in Football, Spangled History, Sports | 2 Comments

Great Anthem Performances in Sports—Nominate Your Favorites

Television made sports championships, such as the Super Bowl and World Series, into international entertainment extravaganzas and the role of music in sports has grown alongside. Musicians had long helped entertain, excite (and control) sports crowds since at least the … Continue reading

Posted in Arturo Sandoval, Baseball, Basketball, Faith Hill, Football, Marvin Gaye, Performers, players, Sports, Whitney Houston | 3 Comments

Adding a Beat to the Banner: Beyoncé, Whitney & the Magic of 4/4 Time

The hubbub about Beyoncé’s “to lip synch or not” performance of the national anthem at Obama’s second inauguration aside, everyone I’ve spoken with and read LOVED her performance. Soul superstar Aretha Franklin told ABC News that Beyoncé “did a beautiful … Continue reading

Posted in Arranging, Beyoncé, Football, melody, meter, Music, Performers, rhythm, Sports, Whitney Houston | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment