photo of Ann by Gordon Alexander; photo of Tom by Glenn Osmundson
Featured Tellers at the 1999 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the husband-and-wife duo of Tom Callinan and Ann Shapiro presents "Imagine Menagerie", a collage of participatory tales, told with music and humor as integral parts of the telling. As solo artists or in tandem, Tom and Ann deliver their entertaining versions of: folk tales, stories of the sea, Irish stories, tall-tales, stories with a twist, rhymed stories, and even spoonerisms for audiences of all ages. Since 1982, their duo has performed throughout the Eastern Seaboard in: community centers, libraries, museums, schools, at numerous book-fairs, and on radio and television. Their warm and inviting style of storytelling and singing songs quickly involves intergenerational audiences in their programs.
As Arts-In-Education specialists, they present enrichment programs and conduct residencies (K-12 and beyond), integrating music and storytelling into a variety of curricula.
Additionally, in 1991, Tom was designated Connecticut's first "Official State Troubadour" by legislation. And Ann serves as the Executive Director for The Connecticut Storytelling Center, in residence at Connecticut College.
To date, Tom Callinan and Ann Shapiro have produced over a dozen albums in both cassette and CD formats: together, as solos, and with other artists they have appeared with. Included in this number are two storytelling albums: "Imagine Menagerie" and "I'm Gonna Tell", the former featuring appearances by their (now grown) sons, Eli and Emmett as youngsters. Each of these stories employs humor to enable audiences to view the lighter side of some of life's trials and tribulations. The latter is an assortment of tall-tales, adaptations of folktales, and original stories, told in-tandem, with humor and music as key components.
At the Tenth Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival in 1990, and at the 1991 National Storytelling Congress, the Callinan and Shapiro duo performed "Lost In Your Words", Tom's original song, celebrating the power of stories and tellers. That song was so well received that many different TELLABRATIONS across the country now open their annual programs with it. "Lost In Your Words" is available on Ann and Tom's "Home Remedies" recording, and also on "The Listening Tree", a cassette anthology of stories and songs (with an accompanying educational booklet) performed by members of the Connecticut Storytelling Center .
Photo by Ethelene DiBona
With Celtic harp, 12-string cittern, an assortment of flagolets, and bodhran, this husband-and-wife duo presents traditional folksongs of Ireland and the British Isles for: Renaissance fairs, festivals, concerts, weddings, arts-in-education programs, and other special events.
Appearing in colourful costumes reminiscent of those halcyon days of yore, Tom and Ann delight audiences of all ages with their instrumental stylings, self-accompanied vocal harmonies or their a cappella renderings.
September 16 - Tom Callinan/Ann Shapiro
Husband and wife Tom Callinan and Ann Shapiro are singers, songwriters, storytellers, multi-instrumentalists, and arts-in-education specialists whose performances center around participatory family entertainment. Music and humor as an integral part of their telling. As solos or in tandem, they tell folktales, stories of the sea, Irish stories, stories with a twist and even spoonerisms. Listed in the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Directory of Performing Artists, both Tom and Ann are recognized by the Commission as Master Teaching Artists and Tom was chosen to be the first Connecticut State Troubadour
Tom and/or Ann are available for a wide variety of venues (i.e. classroom workshops for up to 30 students, to assemblies for 250 students - or more - to major concerts), in a wide variety of spacial settings and lengths of performances.
Come On And Sing-Along!
- Eclectic songs from a variety of times and places, accompanied by an array of musical instruments from the wind, string, and percussion families.
Let's Clean Up Our Act (Songs For The Earth) - A potpourri of songs and stories about human interaction (use, abuse, and improvement) with the natural world, presented as an environmental hootenanny. Imagine Menagerie - An assortment of tall-tales, adaptations of folktales, and original stories, told in-tandem, with humor and music as integral components.
From Sea To Shining Sea
- Trace the restless American spirit through songs of emigration, immigration, and migration. Included are songs and stories that people brought with them from other countries and their variants as they became Americanized.
In The Good Old Colony Days
- Tunes, tales, games, and instruments, from Early America (colonial times, The Revolutionary War, through The War of 1812).
- Looks at sibling rivalry, the generation gap, role models, stereotypes, and ways to get along with the people we live with.
The Boys Against The Girls
- A humorous look at the age-old battle of the sexes in story and song.
- Crazy songs and stories about railroads and train folk.
The Rollicking Roll Show
- Songs about rolling. This is not Rock 'n Roll; this is just Roll!
- Songs and stories for a variety of festive occasions.
I'm Gonna Write A Song - Available as a workshop only. Students write original lyrics to a familiar melodies while learning meter, rhyme schemes and how songs can chronicle current events.
Earth Revival - Songs For Nature Folk - Environmental Hootenanny
Illustration by Julia McCurdy
ARTS-IN-EDUCATION PROGRAM / Environmental Hootenanny
Featuring Tom Callinan and/or Ann Shapiro
This Connecticut-based husband-and-wife duo provides an alternative to “hard
news” with lighthearted, singable, thought-provoking songs, stories, and
activities about human interaction with the natural world. Performing as
solo artists or in-tandem, Tom and/or Ann's participatory presentations are
adaptable to any age audience. Topics include those that celebrate nature, as
well as those that concentrate on specific environmental issues: recycling,
sewage, solid waste, rainforest preservation, critical habitat, rivers,
saving whales, marine environment (including Long Island Sound), soil
conservation, among others.
Their material makes an excellent springboard for stimulating classroom
(nature center, museum, etc.) discussions. Their thought-provoking songs can
also serve as catalysts for self/group empowerment. Their demonstration of
several homemade and/or “found” musical instruments extends the music-making
to you and your students as follow-ups to their presentations. In smaller
groups, through a simple songwriting process, participants explore how music
can be an effective tool for expressing concerns about accepting
responsibility for our part in the problem, and how through group-action, we
might feel empowered that what we do might make a difference with regard to
saving our fragile environment.
Related recordings: "Let's Clean Up Our Act: Songs For The Earth"
(cassette and accompanying lyrics/ideas booklet package), $20. each
"Earth Revival - Songs For Nature Folk"
(CD and accompanying lyrics/ideas booklet package), $25.00 each
Prices above include shipping.
"Callinan and Shapiro's lyrics ... are as direct and uncompromising as their
vocals, covering gardens and garbage, ‘Pollution' and ‘Mother Ocean'."
- Catherine Cella, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE
America The Beautiful: Environmental Hootenanny
American Heritage Series
Participatory Programs For All Ages
Tom Callinan has developed an environmental hootenanny, containing participatory songs and stories about human interaction with the natural world. The celebrated folksinger, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and activist provides an alternative to "hard news" with lighthearted, singable, thought-provoking songs, stories, and activities that celebrate nature, as well as those that concentrate on specific environmental issues: recycling, sewage, solid waste, litter, rainforest preservation, critical habitat, saving whales, marine environment (including Long Island Sound), soil conservation, coral reefs, rivers - among others.
An excellent springboard for stimulating classroom (nature center, museum, etc.) discussions, they can also serve as catalysts for self/group empowerment. Mr. Callinan's demonstration of several homemade and/or "found" musical instruments extends the music-making to teachers and students as follow-ups to his presentation.
Related recordings: "Let's Clean Up Our Act: Songs For The Earth" (cassette and accompanying lyrics/ideas booklet package) featuring husband and wife duo, Tom Callinan and Ann Shapiro, is available at $15., and/or "Earth Revival" their 18-song compilation CD @ $17.00; prices include shipping.
A MERICAN SONGS & STORIES
(Songs, Stories, & Tunes From America's Past And Present)
Celebrating 3 decades in the arts
Drawing on their extensive repertoire of folksongs, sea songs, chanteys, and popular songs and tunes from a variety of times and places, the husband and wife duo of Tom Callinan and Ann Shapiro, have constructed a program of diverse songs from early America through modern times, including some of the following titles:
The Early Songs: "Simple Gifts", "Old Hundredth" (The Doxology), "Amazing Grace", etc.
Songs Of Colonial Life: "The Life Of The Country Boy", "Springfield Mountain", "Jolly Old Roger (the tinmaker man), "The Codfish Chantey" (Cape Cod Girls), "In The Good Old Colony Days", "Wild Amerikay", "Pleasant And Delightful", "Early One Morning", etc.
Revolutionary War/1812Songs: ""The Riflemen At Bennington", "Captain Jinks", "Soldiers' Joy", "Yankee Doodle", "The Battle Of Stonington", etc.
American Folk Songs: "Old Joe Clark", "I've Been Working On The Railroad", "Clementine", "Coming 'Round The Mountain", "The Green Grass Grows All Around", "Oh Susanna", "Tom Dooley", "Sweet Betsy From Pike", "The Blue-Tailed Fly", etc.
Sea Songs, Chanteys, & Tunes: "The Mermaid", "Sam's Gone Away Aboard A Man Of War", "Roll The Woodpile Down", "Captain Kidd", "Michael, Row The Boat Ashore", "Rolling Home To Old New England", "Newcastle", "The Girl I Left Behind Me", etc.
Folk Revival Songs: "Charlie on the M.T.A.", "Puff, The Magic Dragon", "The Unicorn", etc.
Play-Party Songs: "The Damper", "The Wise Man & The Foolish Man", "The Cabin In The Woods", "Skip To My Lou", "The Hokey Pokey", etc.
Plus ... an assortment of original and other contemporary songs!
Tom and Ann's warm and inviting performing style brings audiences of all ages into the performance with catchy choruses, interesting anecdotes, and an assortment of musical instruments from the string, wind, and percussion families. Special attention is paid to passing on the age-old fundamentals of spoon-playing to contemporary folk.