Brenda keeps a finger on the pulse of the arts as musicians start to emerge after more than a year of mostly silence. Join her for classical music every weekend morning starting at 6:00 a.m. with the sounds of birds.
A native of Albion, New York, NEA Fellow Brenda has tried her hand at almost every job in public radio, from hosting overnight blues shows to freelancing for National Public Radio. Her NPR reports and local documentaries earned three Gracies from the Association of Women in Radio and Television, many AP awards, and a national Gabriel Award.
She became Rochester’s weekday morning host in 2009. In addition to waking up super early, Brenda produces and hosts Performance Upstate and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s regular season concert series.
Her love of opera was fostered by her parents, who took her to her first opera – a world premiere – when she was thirteen. (It was an obscure production based on the life of John Wesley by William Allen, then composer-in-residence at Houghton College.) In the 1980s, her father treated her to the entire Ring cycle at Artpark, and since then she has been enjoyed the annual Glimmerglass Festival, Eastman Opera Theatre, Finger Lakes Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Just before the 2020 pandemic struck, she saw Mark Padmore star in Britten’s Death in Venice in Covent Garden in London. She has interviewed Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, Christine Goerke, Jamie Barton, Kathryn Lewek, and Gregory Kunde, among other luminaries.
Outside the broadcast studio, singing is Brenda’s passion. 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 memories have been made with friends in chamber choirs Madrigalia and First Inversion. She sang with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the choruses during semi-staged productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La bohème. Currently she serves as Music Director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Brockport, New York.