Musicologists Mark Clague of the University of Michigan and Susan Key of the Star Spangled Music Foundation were awarded the 2013 Sight and Sound Subvention from the Society for American Music on Saturday, March 10, 2013 for their project “Poets & Patriots: A Recorded History of ‘The Star Spangled Banner'” at the Society’s national meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. The award provides a valuable professional endorsement to the project as well as a bit of funding to help pay for the CDs. The University of Michigan’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance faculty research fund have already supported the recording. The first two videos of the first 1814 arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” and its 18th century source tune “The Anacreontic Song” are already available for preview on Youtube.
Presenting the award, committee chair Graham Wood of Coker College in South Carolina read the following citation:
I’d like to thank my fellow committee members Ann Spivey and Brian Thompson for their work on reviewing applications and selecting the winner of the Sight & Sound Subvention Award for non-print projects related to American music.
This year’s award goes to Dr. Mark Clague and Dr. Susan Key of the Star-Spangled Banner Foundation for their project: “Poets and Patriotism: A Recorded History of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”
The subvention will support the production and distribution of the first ever recordings of over a dozen different versions of “The Star Spangled Banner” using historically informed texts, instruments, performing forces, and performance techniques, all based on new critical editions.
The project builds upon the pioneering research of song collectors and scholars, and uses a variety of archival sources including one of the eleven surviving copies of the original printing of the anthem.
Educators at the K-12 and college levels will be able to engage students in a deeper understanding of this important musical document and its history by drawing upon these recordings and related resources posted on the project website.
The release of these recordings will be timed to coincide with the anthem’s bicentennial in September 2014 and with a conference on to be held at the University of Michigan.
With its combination of scholarship and performance and its cultural significance, this project gives the Society a chance to demonstrate the value of musicology to the general public. In particular, by making a strong case for the role of the arts—especially of music—in American life.
Congratulations to Mark & Susan on their award.
The Star Spangled Music Foundation congratulates its executive director, Susan Key, on this recognition and thanks the Society for American Music for its generous support and endorsement of this project.