Tom Callinan Programs

Tom Callinan

From Sea To Shining Sea:
Westward Expansion, Immigration & Migration
Songs, Stories, & Tunes From Land & Sea, Here & There...Past & Present


American Heritage Series
Participatory Programs For All Ages


Through music and storytelling, TOM CALLINAN and/or ANN SHAPIRO, (folksingers, songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, storytellers, and Master Teaching Artists from Connecticut), provide a look at the restless American spirit with  singable, thought-provoking songs, stories, and activities about emigration (from a variety of countries), immigration to the United States, and migration, once here - throughout history. While the bulk of the material in their presentation is drawn from their personal backgrounds, there is also a representation from numerous other cultures who have contributed to the patchwork quilt (sometimes referred to as "The Melting Pot") that is present in contemporary America society.  Also included are examples of material that immigrants brought with them from other countries, and some of their variants, as they became Americanized.

The songs, stories, and tunes will not only get students singing and clapping along, but they will stimulate lively discussions in your classroom, while serving as springboards for their investigation of their own personal and familial ties with the past and the present.

TOM's and/or ANN's demonstration of several homemade and/or "found" musical instruments extends the music-making to you and your students as follow-ups to their presentations.

Available as concert/assembly programs as well as classroom workshops and residencies.  In classroom workshops, through the simple songwriting process of re-writing lyrics, you and your students can explore how music can be an effective tool for learning or reinforcing curricular concepts.

A thought-provoking excerpt from the program:

"THE 100% AMERICAN" From Ralph Linton's The Study Of Man

" ... the 100% American is he who sleeps on a bed originated in the Near East, throws back covers domesticated in India or the Near East, slips on his moccasins invented by the Indians of the Eastern woodland, takes off his pajamas invented in India, washes with soap invented by the ancient Gauls, shaves, a rite derived from ancient Egypt ...

Before going out for breakfast he glances through a window, made of glass invented in Egypt, and if it is raining, puts on overshoes made of rubber discovered by the Central American Indian, and takes out an umbrella invented in southeastern Asia.

At breakfast he eats from a plate of pottery invented in China.  His knife is of steel, an alloy first made in Southern India, his fork, a medieval Italian invention, and his spoon, a derivative of a Roman original.  When he has finished eating, he settles back to smoke, an American Indian habit.

While smoking, he settles back to read the news of the day, imprinted in characters invented by the ancient Semites upon a material invented in China, by a process invented in Germany.  As he absorbs the accounts of foreign troubles, he will, if he is a good conservative citizen, thank a Hebrew deity in an Indo-European language that he is 100% American."