Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

Back to school

Feb 26, 2017

Mr. Monaghan taught me how to breathe.  He was completely blind and read and composed in Braille. My mother helped me reach the keys of a piano before I could walk.  Mr. Grammatico showed me how hold a saxophone and later, a bassoon.  Mrs. Pritchard taught me to love dissonance, and Miss Konigiser opened my ears to Sondheim, Lerner, and Lowe.  

My father was junior high band director, and watching him experience the stresses and joys of teaching gave me a deep, rich appreciation for all teachers.

They inspire, encourage, and spark lifelong passion. 

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. 

Valentine by Sam and Nancy

Now and then, a piece of art floats into my mailbox. A sketch.  A handmade Valentine.   A quilt of songbirds.  A crow sculpted of twisted wires. 

Here's a sampling of artwork sent by the wonderful listeners of Classical 91.5 FM.
 

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.  

photo by Brenda Tremblay

Happy New Year!

I've been thinking about this quote by Neil Gaiman:

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

Decca/Timothy White

Recently WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras asked me to point to a single favorite musical moment of 2016.

That’s impossible.

My head swims with memories of many fantastic performances.  For example, in February, flutist Marina Piccinini and the RPO dazzled in a flute concerto by Pulitzer winner Aaron Jay Kernis.  That was super exciting!

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. 

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