Flying home from a family wedding over Labor Day weekend, my seatmate on the plane turned out to be an avid and longtime public radio listener and supporter. The lovely and interesting woman described how she had lived in several states over the years, moving for jobs and family. She was flying back to her relatively new home in a new city near her son. Just before our plane landed, she leaned over to add, “You know, I’ve made all these moves to places where I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t know my way around. But as soon as I found the local public radio stations, and my favorite programs, it was so comforting. I instantly felt at home.” I know exactly how she feels!
Students are returning to school this time of year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about teachers and mentors. Specifically, I’m recalling the many wonderful people who guided me on my path over the course of my educational life and beyond. These caring role models not only imparted their knowledge about the subjects they taught, they modeled what it meant to be deeply committed to one’s work.
Last week I made my third visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Are you surprised that someone who hosts a baroque radio program would be interested in a Rock and Roll museum? Are you curious why a classical flutist with a music degree would care about the Beatles, the Stones, Prince and Eric Clapton, to name just a few? Or perhaps it makes perfect sense to you, based on your own musical tastes.
A recent article in the NY Times caught my attention. It was a review of performances in the Mostly Mozart Festival’s new venue – a 230 seat space used for part of the concert series – and it also advocated for smaller venues, in general, for classical music performances. (“Let’s Get Intimate. Big Music Doesn’t Need Huge Halls” by ANTHONY TOMMASINI AUG. 3, 2016)
A beautiful video circulating online features the extraordinary effects of music on elderly residents of a nursing home. Otherwise silent and unresponsive people with dementia came alive when their favorite music was played for them. Their faces brightened, their eyes sparkled, their smiles beamed brightly, and they often began to sing along. It inspired the documentary ALIVE INSIDE.
We recently took out-of-town guests to a performance by a dulcimer ensemble. It’s a group of adult musicians – a club — who get together twice a month to rehearse, and perform publicly in various casual venues around town.
One of the most frequent comments I hear from listeners is, “I don’t know much about music, but I like listening to Sunday Baroque.” It’s a lovely compliment, of course. But it’s also a reminder that there are many artificial barriers around classical music – and nothing delights me more than tearing down those barriers.
People often ask me how Sunday Baroque came into existence. I’d like to say it was a strategically planned effort to address the burgeoning interest in baroque and early music in the late 1980s. However, the truth is that it was a happy accident. With my freshly minted Bachelor’s degree in music performance, I had never even set foot in a radio station before.