Published: June 17, 2015 By


On Sunday, July 5, the American Music Research Center presents its ninth Great American Sing-Along at Westview Presbyterian Church in Longmont.

This Independence Day weekend, celebrate the music that helped shape U.S. history.

On Sunday, July 5, the American Music Research Center – a joint venture between the University Libraries and the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder – presents its ninth Great American Sing-Along. If you’ve never been to the event, AMRC director Tom Riis says it’s just what it sounds like. “We vary the theme from year to year, but it’s always about tradition, community life and personal participation.”

For the first time in several years, the sing-along will be held off campus at Westview Presbyterian Church in Longmont. Choral conductor Jason St. Claire returns for his second year to lead the crowd and backup chorus. St. Claire, a College of Music doctoral student in choral studies, may even join in the singing.

For all ages, the sing-along illuminates American history through music. “It’s multi-generational and family-oriented,” says Riis. “Children can bring their parents and grandparents and have a great time in a cool and comfortable setting.”

There are health benefits, to boot. “Singing isn’t merely fun—it’s good for you!” continues Riis. “By just standing up and stretching your shoulders, arms, mouth, ears, brows and vocal chords, your overall health and mood are improved. Your blood flow increases. Your heart beats faster.

“And if we can provide a short history lesson about the power and variety of American songs through time, that’s just another side benefit,” he adds.

While volunteer singers on stage will provide back-up for the crowd, Riis says it’s all about audience participation. “As the lottery ads say, ‘You can't win if you don’t play.’ My version of that slogan for the Great American Sing-Along is, ‘You can't get the most out of the music unless you participate.’”

A pianist will accompany the singers, and the lyrics of each song will be projected for the audience to follow along. Free lemonade will be served. For more information, visit

American Music Research Center's Great American Sing-Along

When: Sunday, July 5, 2015, 3 p.m.
Where: Westview Presbyterian Church, 1500 Hoover Street, Longmont
Tickets: Free and open to the public