Classical 91.5

Evan Dawson

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Teachers and parents across Monroe County had to act quickly last week when the county ordered all schools to close. They’ve developed lessons and curricula that can be taught remotely.

This hour, we talk with teachers and parents about the work they are doing, the buy-in from students so far, and their recommendations for families who will be educating kids from home for the foreseeable future.

We also discuss WXXI’s new Learn at Home programming – a special education television block in support of families, educators, and students. Our guests:

  • Marion French, vice president of education and interactive services at WXXI
  • Cara Rager, manager of education training and family engagement at WXXI
  • Erica Davis, music teacher at Williamson Central School District, and parent of three children
  • Kristin Loftus, math coach at Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts, and parent of two children

Garth Fagan Dance, the Rochester City School District, and the City of Rochester’s Black Heritage Committee are all teaming up to offer a Black History Month celebration on Saturday, February 29.

A book authored by Eastman School of Music graduate Lauren Haley provides tips for how to develop motivation and talent in children through music. “Kids Aren’t Lazy” provides strategies for fostering self-direction, critical thinking, and creativity in children who are learning musical instruments. Haley is in Rochester to give a talk at the University of Rochester, but first, she joins us on Connections to discuss her research.

We’re also joined by a professional trumpeter and a child psychiatrist who discuss how to positively motivate kids to pursue and practice any hobby or interest they have, while also balancing other life priorities. In studio:

What does it take to be an artist in 2019? We sit down with artists in a variety of media to discuss their work, how they sell their art, and the other opportunities they take advantage of in order to create the time and space to do their creative work. 

Our guests:

The Gateways Music Festival is back. The six-day festival that celebrates and supports classical musicians of African descent kicks off on Tuesday in Rochester. Nationwide, less than two percent of orchestra members are African American.

Gateways organizers say they hope their programming will inspire underrepresented musicians and audience members to seek out classical music. They join us to preview the festival and its music. In studio:

  • Lee Koonce, president and artistic director of the Gateways Music Festival
  • James Norman, president of the Gateways Music Festival Board of Directors
  • Herb Smith, trumpeter with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and member of the Artistic Programs Committee for the Gateways Music Festival

What’s next for Parcel 5? It’s a question Rochestarians have been asking for years. On Tuesday, City Council unanimously approved a measure that would allow Mayor Lovely Warren to apply for $4.7 million in state funding to develop the site. The Warren administration is aiming to model Parcel 5 after Kansas City Live!, an entertainment district flanked by restaurants and bars that hosts year-round events and concerts.

This hour, we’re joined by community members who have been active participants in discussions about the site. Some have advocated for green space, others have pushed for a space for the arts. We explore their visions and discuss the future of Parcel 5. In studio:

How does music capture a culture, or a political moment, or a time of change? One of the great musical historians is a WXXI host and contributor, and his new book looks at what he calls “City Songs.”

We sit down with Michael Lasser to discuss how music shaped public perspectives as America developed, and we talk about how to recognize when a song goes from just a song to something more culturally powerful.

Ayman Jarjour is a musician and humanitarian who is using his skills and talents to help refugees in camps around the world. He's in Rochester for a benefit performance on November 10. We sit down with him to discuss what he's learned through his work, and we'll hear from a local refugee who shares her story. In studio:

What is the future of classical music in America?

The Eastman School of Music is hosting three guest scholars this weekend who will help answer that question. They join us in studio for a preview of their presentations about teaching classical music in the digital age and the challenges future music leaders will face. Our guests:

  • Robert Winter, distinguished professor of music at UCLA
  • Robert Freeman, pianist, author, former director of the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jim Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music

It’s our annual Fringe Festival preview. The 11-day festival includes more than 500 performances. We sit down with the festival’s producer and artists from a range of acts to talk about what’s on stage at this year’s event.

In studio:

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