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   (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, Madrigalia, and with Tasty Parker and the Joy Riders.

A drummer from the Rochester area is among this year’s Grammy nominees.  Steve Gadd received a nomination for his album ‘Way Back Home: Live from Rochester,’ which includes music from Gadd’s 2015 appearance at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Gadd studied at the Eastman School of Music.  Several other Eastman alums are among the Grammy nominees in both classical and non-classical categories.  They include:

Since its release in November, a new book about singing by Western New York vocal coach Richard Fink IV has become a top seller on Amazon.  In it, Fink outlines what he calls the seven dimensions of singing which he says apply to all kinds of vocalists, from jazz to pop to classical.  Click on the link to hear a wide-ranging conversation and short voice lesson with WXXI's Brenda Tremblay.

Photo: Brenda Tremblay

A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting with music students at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.  In preparation for the session, Professor Roy Stein had asked them to research and write about the theory that classical music is a dying art form.   Here are all the things I forgot to say.

Dear Professor Stein,

Photo: AfriClassical

Meet Lee Koonce.   He's the first full-time, paid director of a festival that exists to support and encourage diversity in America's classical concert halls.  In this Democrat and Chronicle article by Jeff Spevak, Koonce describes a vision.

“We need a million black and Latino kids playing the violin,” he says. “And another million playing the cello. Two million, even.”

Simple Gifts

Nov 11, 2016
Brenda Tremblay

I was trying to remember who ruled Austria when Beethoven was working on his Fifth Symphony.  German Emperor Francis II?  Napoleon?   Can you name the Holy Roman Emperor in power when Mozart was putting the finishing touches on The Magic Flute?   Which U.S. President lived in the White House when Aaron Copland wrote Appalachian Spring

Unless you majored in music in college, you probably can’t toss off these names without a little help from Google.