In 2007, Scott Gac, undergraduate and graduate director of American studies and associate professor, published Singing For Freedom, a book about New Hampshire’s Hutchinson Family Singers, America’s most popular musical act in the years leading up to the Civil War. This year, he collaborated with Minnesota’s Rose Ensemble on a musical adaptation of their story and recreation of their performances.

The Hutchinson Family Singers were pioneers of the American protest song and transformed American popular culture. In April, Gac joined Minnesota Public Radio to talk about the Hutchinson family, their 19th century superstardom, and the Rose Ensemble’s performance.