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

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).

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. 

Counting crows

Dec 10, 2016

Bird by bird. That’s how the longest-running citizen science project in the world shines a light on our understanding of bird populations.  It’s an international effort starting December 14th with local events planned December 17-26.  

Want to get involved?   Sign up to watch your feeders and join a team of counters to offer ornithologists a vital snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months.   You might stay at home and count birds from the warmth of your kitchen.  Or you might join a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles.   At least ten volunteers, including a leader to coordinate the process, count in each circle.  They break up into small groups and trace pre-planned routes, counting every bird they see.  

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,