Classical 91.5

Brenda Tremblay

Classical Morning Host and Producer

Brenda Tremblay bolts out of bed every weekday morning at 4:00 a.m. to present classical music on Classical 91.5 FM, streaming at wxxi.org.   (The broadcast starts at 6:00 a.m. with birdsong, inspired by the BBC.)  She’s an NEA Fellow who’s interviewed musical luminaires such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, and Steve Reich.  She also produces and hosts the RPO radio concerts and other local productions, and works with the Center for Public Affairs to create arts and cultural coverage for all media services.  Her productions have earned three Gracies from the Association of Women in Radio and Television, many AP awards, and a national Gabriel Award. 

Away from the studio, Brenda serves as Music Director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Brockport, New York.  She loves to sing.  She’s performed with choirs in Carnegie Hall, Westminster Abbey, and in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.  In Rochester, some of her best musical memories have been made with friends in the Rochester Oratorio Society and Madrigalia.

"I'm just always typecast as funny 'cause I happen to be kind of a funny person."

Nazareth College senior Alma Haddock has a problem. With a brassy voice that's been compared to Ethel Merman's, "I never get to do dramatic roles or sing dramatic songs" she says.

To show another side of her musical talent, she's creating a cabaret show. 

Laura Strickling

Soprano Laura Strickling and her family have been rescued from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  Now in Puerto Rico, she and her husband and one year-old baby Elizabeth are waiting to fly to Chicago.  A Facebook community of musical mothers is collecting donations to shower Laura and her family with supplies, including a new stroller to replace the one destroyed by Hurricane Irma. 

Strickling won First Prize and the Audience Favorite Award in the 2015 Rochester Oratorio Society's Classical Idol Competition.

Laura Strickling and family are okay.  But she says just thinking about the potential impact of Hurricane Jose turns her stomach.   The First Prize winner in Rochester's 2015 Classical Idol Competition, Strickling lives in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with her husband, a lawyer, and one year-old daughter.  She has asked her story be shared in order to keep a spotlight on the suffering in her community. 

Early Saturday morning, September 9th, she described her current situation on social media:

"Day 2, After #HurricaneIrma

Pulitzer-prize winning composer George Walker has written ten sonatas, two string quartets, and challenging concertos for piano, violin, cello, and trombone.   Last year he finished a new sinfonia.   What makes Walker’s latest creation so rare is that when he finished it, he was 94 years old.  Read Frank Oteri's profile here.

This should be a big year for Amy Beach.  September 5th is the composer's 150th birth anniversary.  But aside from a few commemorative dates and this major event in Rochester, NY, not much else appears to be happening to mark her achievements.

“My work has always been judged from the beginning by work as such, not according to sex,” she insisted. “The question has rarely ever been raised.”

Image from video posted by Joni Villemez-Comeaux

Volunteer gospel singers are cheering hurricane refugees in shelters in and around Houston.

"I'm a Christian so we have a duty and assignment to love people everyday no matter what their color, their background or race, and what they're driven," said singer Marquist Taylor, vice president of Others Outreach Missions.

Listen and watch here.

Part 1: Classical radio in the classroom

Part 2: Classical public media, beyond the radio

(Note: this is the final installment of Nine Ideas on How to Use Classical Public Media.)

What can classical public media do for music students, beyond the classroom?

Part 3 includes ways teachers can leverage the power of public media in the real world.

Andrew Wyeth. Christina's World. 1948. Tempera on panel, 32 1/4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x 121.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Composer Jennifer Higdon grew up in a family of visual artists.  She's turned her fascination with painters Andrew Wyeth, Georgia O'Keefe, and Jackson Pollock  into music.  Read and hear more about Higdon's project here.

Let's wake up with classical music, a poem from Garrison Keillor, a little news to keep you in touch with the world.  Wake up early enough (6:40 a.m.) and you can test yourself on a Mystery Piece. We’ll hear from more elderly composers writing terrific music late in life.

Tuesday, September 19

You’ll visit a troll garden, a waterfall, and the Milky Way in music by Gary Schocker, John Thomas, and Jessie Montgomery.   You’ll hear pianist Stephen Hough, violinist James Ehnes, and So Percussion!

Wednesday, September 20

Part 1: Classical radio in the classroom

(Note: This is a continuation of last week's post on how music educators can use classical public media in their classrooms to enhance students' musical experiences.)

Is it radio? Streaming? Media?  Journalism?  Yes!

Classical radio goes beyond the old-fashioned wireless. Almost all of the classical public radio stations have a website where you can find playlists,  blogs, and arts news.

Pages