Tom Callinan Programs

Tom Callinan

Getting Along: a conflict-resolution/anti-bullying program

Arts-In-Education and family entertainment specialist Tom Callinan presents " Getting Along! " This participatory program incorporates music and storytelling as tools for dealing with character development, bullying, conflict-resolution, and other contemporary societal issues. 

 Mr. Callinan ' s extensive repertoire from many times and places is enhanced with humor, tale-spinning, and an assortment of conventional and non-conventional musical instruments.  Tom shares multi-cultural stories and songs that show people in conflict. Age-old folk wisdom illustrates the various ways that these problems might be resolved. The entertaining (i.e. not pedantic) style of the program helps students appreciate both the universality of the human condition, while fostering respectful views of cultural differences.  In classroom workshops or residencies, Tom blends traditional and contemporary material with conflict resolution training exercises, leading selected volunteers in role-playing, skits, and/or rhythmic accompaniment to folksongs, folktales, and his original songs/stories about family life.

"Tom Callinan is an expert at getting the audience to take part in the performance."
- The Evening Gazette, Worcester, Mass.

The program includes selections from the following (among others) :
This program is usually presented as a potpourri, geared to the age of each respective audience.
If specific selections are desired, sponsors should indicate their preferences when booking.

"Essequibo River" -  A Guinean sea chantey for group cooperation

"Blow The Man Down" -  Anglo-American capstan chantey for group cooperation

"No Irish Need Apply" - Mid-19th Century Irish emigration song

"Don't You Push Me Down" Woody Guthrie song

"I'm Gonna Tell" Rosalie Sorrel's song

"Follow The Drinking Gourd" - U.S. slave escape song of the 19th Century

"I Want To Live In A Friendly World" – A hopeful song

"I Want To Walk A Mile In Your Shoes" – Sarah Goslee Reed's empathy-building song

"Who Will Tend My Garden When I'm Gone" Phil Rosenthal's song

"The More We Get Together" Song for peaceful co-existence to the tune of "Ach Du Lieber Augustin"

"Katerina Magdalena" - a silly song of a girl with a multi-cultural name, who possesses some unique physical attributes

"Let There Be Peace On Earth" - Sy Miller and Bill Jackson 's song

"Why Dogs Hate Cats" Updated version of traditional folktale

"Bloody Bill" Dennis Lee poem related to bullying

"Strength" African story

"Kum Ba Yah" - African song of prayer

"Family Tree" - Whimsical saga of an extremely multi-cultural person

"The Ghosts Of Ellis Island" - Contemporary song celebrating Cuban, Irish, Russian, Sicilian immigration - and immigration in general

"This Land Is Your Land" - U.S. Depression-era song by Woody Guthrie

"The House By The Side Of The Road" Poem by Samual Walter Foss

Tom Callinan's Original Songs:

"Character Counts"; "Come On & Sing-Along!"; "Dare To Dream"; "Change"; "Accept Who You Are"; "Save What's Left"; "I Wonder If Today Will Be The Same As Yesterday" T.C  lyrics to 18 th Century marching song

The wide variety of folk and popular music from an assortment of times and places, and an array of musical instruments from the string, wind, and percussion families make singing-along, hand clapping and toe-tapping irresistible.   Tom ' s warm and inviting style quickly involves his audiences with catchy choruses, zany antics, and other forms of participation. This is family entertainment for all ages.

Known throughout the Northeast as a solo artist (folksinger, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist), Mr. Callinan has worked as a full-time Arts-In Education specialist since leaving public school teaching in 1977.  He has been recognized by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts as a Master Teaching Artist. In 1991, then-Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. signed legislation passed by the CT General Assembly creating the position of “Official State Troubadour”. Tom Callinan was the recipient of that unprecedented honor.