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December 4, 2012

‘Colonial Idol’ Premieres Dec. 13

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip ‘Colonial Idol’ presents a talent showcase featuring 18th-century music that shaped public opinion and even changed history, but with a very contemporary twist. Selecting from performances as different as a Native American dance, vocalists, instrumentalists, fifers and drummers and African American spirituals, students participating in the electronic field trip across the country will vote on their favorite performance.

Colonial Idol is broadcast at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Dec. 13. The performances can be viewed and votes cast in advance at Votes will be tallied before the end of each broadcast, setting the stage for a different winner in the morning and afternoon.

‘This program is quite different from what our audience has seen before,’ said Linda Randulfe, executive producer and director of the program. ‘We’ve created a show similar to popular music performance competitions, but we are teaching students about the variety of roles music played in 18th-century society and how those early influences can still be heard in modern American music.’

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips are meticulously researched, non-partisan programs that tell the stories of our country’s founding and span a broad range of historical subjects from colonial times to the present. These distance learning programs, written and produced by Colonial Williamsburg, are created especially for grades 4–8. Electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country.

Each electronic field trip is supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and address national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, email or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year. Participating schools also have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

For more information about electronic field trips, visit call 1-800-761-8331, or email Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown