Classical 91.5

Mona Seghatoleslami

Afternoon host

Mona Seghatoleslami is the host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI.

Mona is originally from New Jersey; she ventured out to the Midwest for college, where studied viola at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She got her start in radio at WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana while in grad school studying musicology and library science at Indiana University. She also spent a few years as a radio announcer and producer in West (by God) Virginia, where she also wrote for the Charleston Gazette and taught American music at West Virginia State University.

When she’s not on the radio, you can find Mona attending concerts and movies, playing viola in community orchestras, occasionally strumming the ukulele, riding her bike everywhere, and reading as much as she can – especially The New Yorker and sci-fi novels. She also books the bands for one of the coolest live music venues in Rochester – The Little Theatre Café.

Ways to Connect

“I think the most important thing is: we need to make sure that we encourage music, and arts in general, solely for the sake of music and art. Because it’s the other part of human life that needs to be stimulated.

If all we give our kids are “how many AP classes can we cram into our high school schedule, how many activities can we do throughout the day,” and never give them the side of artistic stimulation that allows them to express and process them world around them, we’re really doing them a disservice.

Live from Hochstein with host Mona Seghatoleslami is back with a whole new season of performances by some of the finest artists in our area broadcast live from Hochstein Performance Hall. Each of these free “brown bag” concerts runs from 12:10-12:50 p.m., giving downtown business people, teachers, families, students, and friends an opportunity to enjoy classical music during their lunch hour. Live from Hochstein repeats that same day at 10 p.m. on Classical 91.5.

All of the music from this season of Live from Hochstein is now available to stream on demand at the links below. Enjoy!

March 22nd: Brass Music that Tells a Story
David Bamonte, trumpet; Mark Kellogg, trombone; Priscilla Yuen, piano
Featuring music of Blacher, Ewazen, and Brahms.


Poetry for Peace is a collaboration between the Rochester Oratorio Society and the University of Rochester Humanities Center focusing on a performance of Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The performance take place on March 24th at 7:30pm at the Hochstein Performance Hall.  In addition to the concert, there will be a series of events providing historical and cultural background into the music, the time period, the poetry and related topics, all offered free of charge and open to the public.

Here is a list of community orchestras. And a list of choirs and choruses.  What about community bands?

We’ve got some great ones, and this is an area where I am sure that I am missing someone, so please let me know in the comments (or via email) if there is a group that should be added to this list. 

Calling all singers!

“Oh, I’m not really a singer you say, I just really like to sing when the hymns come in church, or “I haven’t been in choir since school…”, or you only sing in the shower.  Then again, maybe you are a seriously trained singer, with the keenest of ears and truest of voices, looking for a group to really challenge you…

At all levels and in many different styles of music, there are choirs that would love to have you sing with them!  This post is the second installment of our series on how to get involved in community music (Part I listed the local community orchestras).

As queen of England for 63 years, Victoria had a fair amount of music written and performed for her.  

Music meant more to her than just something accompany the pomp and circumstance of coronations and jubilees. 

Victoria grew up playing the piano. She also sang, and loved going to the theater. Prince Albert, her husband, played piano and composed. It is said that after she proposed to him, he serenaded her with music that he had written - and she sang along.  

Miss the glory days of high school orchestra? Still have your violin, or flute, or trombone – but you don’t take it out to play it like you always mean to? Want to sing somewhere besides the shower? 

Did you know that you are not alone? There are some wonderful community orchestras, bands, and choirs throughout the region, and they would love to have you join in making music with them.  

Join WXXI for Classical 91.5 Presents, a series that spotlights classical music connections in film. 

Classical 91.5 Presents...Brief Encounter on Saturday November 18th, 3pm at The Little Theatre.

Brief Encounter is a 1945 British romantic drama film directed by David Lean about a woman whose conventional life becomes increasingly complicated because of a chance meeting at a railway station with a stranger. They inadvertently but quickly progress to an emotional love affair, which brings about unexpected consequences.

Dylan Thomas may have been drunk when he made this recording. He had skipped several previous recording sessions. 

He was supposed to just read several of his poems (including “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”), but when he finished the poems, the panicked producers realized that they didn't have enough material for the second side of the record. 

Join WXXI for Classical 91.5 Presents, a series that spotlights classical music connections in film. 

 

Classical 91.5 Presents...Music of the Heart on Saturday April 8th at 2:30pm at The Little Theatre.

Musicians from Rochester's Strings for Success will play at 2:30pm, and the movie will start at 3pm.  Representatives from the Rochester Education Foundation and Strings for Success will be at the theatre with information on some ways that you can support music education in our community.

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