History Through Song and Stories
Performances for Schools

The Old North State

North Carolina History in Song an Story


For grades 2-6; 45-60 minutes; classroom to auditorium

Presenting songs from this country’s earliest days through the 20th century, musician and storyteller David DiGiuseppe offers a history lesson with a musical twist. His curriculum reinforcing presentations are fun and informative–integrating history, geography, folklore and music. 

His unique programs celebrate the rich heritage of American culture and tradition. DiGiuseppe introduces students to numerous instruments, including banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, Irish cittern, concertina and guitar. 

DiGiuseppe extends to his audience a heartfelt and fiery performance, combining powerful songs with stimulating tales of times past.

This musical journey explores:

  • The Scots–Irish, German and Appalachian cultural connections 
    • Early immigration patterns into the NC piedmont
    • The roots of NC’s instrumental traditions
    • Jack tales
  • Colonial North Carolina 
    • Penelope Barker and the Edenton Tea Party
  • African contributions to NC’s culture 
    • Field Hollers 
    • The blues
    • Br’er Rabbit stories
  • The economic impact of emerging technologies 
    • NC’s first railroads
    • Textile mills and manufacturing
    • NC’s Agriculture

The goals of this performance are to:

  • Offer a quality performance which is both entertaining and informative for both students and staff.
  • Present songs and stories with introductory narratives which reinforce curricula in geography, history and music.
  • Enhance the learner’s understanding and appreciation of southern and North Carolina history.
  • Enhance the learner’s understanding of the contributions which diverse ethnic groups have made to North Carolina’s culture.
  • Enhance students’ appreciation of traditional music and stories. 
  • Introduce students to unfamiliar instruments and musical styles

Audience Engagement Strategy

Student participation includes singing on choruses, clapping in rhythm where appropriate, repeating particular lines in stories, and answering questions during a song’s introduction.

Each song in the program is introduced with a relevant narrative. During this introduction, students are often asked questions which relate to their study of history, geography or music.

Every song includes an easy chorus on which the students can sing along. The chorus is taught before or during the song’s performance. In certain pieces, rhythmic clapping is encouraged.

Each story has a few lines which the audience periodically repeats, sometimes with accompanying gestures.