I Hear America Singing

The view of one’s life’s work has taken on different meanings in societies and eras across the world. From servant and slavery systems of old, to the industrial revolution, to labor unions and the gig economy, our idea of work is ever-changing.

As in all aspects of our culture, music has been a part of work every step of the way. Today, both the advent of remote-work and the emerging question of universal basic income are creating new paradigms and discussions about the meaning of work. Join Cantus for I Hear America Singing, a joyful examination of the role work has played in our lives in years past and how work might evolve into the future.

Encore from 2023


John Birge
John Birge is host of APM’s Composers Datebook, as well as the holiday specials Giving Thanks and Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence. He is also morning drive host on YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio.


One hour

Show Clock

Due to the length of the music pieces, this special will be one, 59:00 min segement. There is no internal break.

ContentDepot File Transfer

Playlist Available: June 7, 2024
Promo spot available: August 9, 2024
Program rundown available: August 16, 2024
Date content will be available: August 23, 2024


Broadcast Window

August 23, 2024 - September 30, 2024

Broadcast Rights

Affiliate stations may carry this program multiple times before October 1, 2024. The program must be carried in its entirety. No excerpting is permitted. Simulcast streaming rights are available for this program. Prior to carrying this program, stations must contact their American Public Media Station Relations Representative.


Joseph Simple Gifts

Marge Piercy: To Be of Use

Melissa Dunphy: Work

Jennifer Lucy Cook: Time

Kenji Miyazawa: Be Not Defeated by the Rain

Traditional, arr. Yudelkis LaFuente: Song to Yemaya

Traditional, arr. Osamu Shimizu: Mogami River Boat Song

Stacey Gibbs: Ain't Got Time to Die

Traditional, arr. Robert de Cormier: Rainbow Round My Shoulder

Traditional, arr. Chris Foss: We Shall Not Be Moved

Traditional, arr. Jeffrey L. Ames: Tshotsholoza (Go Forward)

Ralph Carmichael: A Quiet Place

Chris Foss: I Hear America Singing

Natasha Bedingfield: Unwritten

Dolly Parton: 9 to 5

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