The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra premieres a new work

The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra honors the memory of Percy Browning by premiering a new work commissioned in her honor. We hear from the composer of that work, Seth Grosshandler, about his composition process.  We also meet the soloist, clarinetist Michael Wayne, about the work he performs, the Clarinet Concerto by Carl Nielsen, and why such a major work for clarinet is played so rarely. If you would like to hear some of Mr. Grosshandler’s music, here is a link to the Violin Sonata he mentions, played by Christina Bouey.  

Photo credit: Cayuga Chamber Orchestra

Glassfest is back in Corning

Glassfest returns to the Gaffer District of Corning. Executive Director Coleen Fabrizi joins us to give us a hint of the many events taking place during the three days of the festival.  

Photo credit: Glassfest and Alexandra Elise Photography

Music for Trombone Ensemble

The Trombone Quartet of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes is presenting a concert at North Presbyterian Church.  Trombonist Norm Wilcox joins us to talk about the program, and about the history of music specifically for Trombone Ensemble, dating back to the Eastman School of Music.  

Photo credit: Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes

The Euclid Quartet adds an extra cello for a special work by Schubert

The Friends of Music of Stamford, NY welcome the Euclid String Quartet this weekend.  We heard from violinist Jameson Cooper about the two works on the program, Claude Debussy’s one and only string quartet, and a string quintet by Franz Schubert.  The extra member for the quintet is cellist Adrian Daurov.  Mr. Cooper also tells us how the quartet got its name.  

Photo credit:  Stamford Friends of Music

“From the New World” and back again

The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra closes its season with Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No.9, “from the New World”, along with a work by American composer Stacy Garrop’s “Bohemian Cafe” which returns Dvořák’s favor.  Artistic Director Daniel Hege joins us to talk about the relationship of the two pieces, and the performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Andrew Russo

 

Photo credit: Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra

A celebration of French composer Cesar Franck

Organist Mark Laubach is celebrating the  bicentennial of French composer Cesar Franck by performing the complete works for organ.  Sponsored by the Binghamton AGO, the Wilkes-Barre musician performs a selection of those in Binghamton at United Presbyterian Church on Friday, April 22.  He joins us to talk about Franck’s legacy, and deep influence on the generations of organist who followed him.  

Photo credit: Mark Laubach

Two choral concerts on the same day will include a world premiere

The Southern Tier Singers’ Collective presents the premiere of a Mass by composer Zanaida Robles. STSC Artistic Director William Culverhouse talks about commissioning this work for the STSC performance on Sunday, April 24 in St. Patrick’s Church, and the weekend residency of Dr. Robles at Binghamton University featuring performances by the University choral ensembles. You can hear some of Dr. Robles’ music here.  

Photo credit: Southern Tier Singers’ Collective

‘The Weeping Time’ and the story of the largest slave auction in American history

Off The Page from WSKG · Anne Bailey – The Weeping Time

Between 1760 and 1860, more than 1.2 million enslaved men, women and children were sold in the United States. The wealth of a nation was built on the trade of people – of slaves –  yet most of us know very little about these auctions or the people who were sold there. Professor Anne Bailey from Binghamton University is
working to change that. Her book, The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History, tells the story of a specific auction in 1859. But it also examines the trauma that still exists today, and the healing that families are finding as they trace their lineage back to the auction block.

The story of Cinderella updated to the 1950s in a collaborative production

Tri-Cities Opera is presenting Gioachino Rossini’s setting of the tale of Cinderella in a joint production with Syracuse Opera.  It’s a different version of the tale, with a stepfather instead of a stepmother, a wise tutor instead of a fairy godmother, and matching bracelets instead of a glass slipper — but lots of laughs.  We hear from executive director John Rozzoni, Camille Sherman who plays Cinderella, and Aaron Crouch who plays the Prince.  

Photo credit: Tri-Cities Opera

A rarely-performed work of sacred American music is sung by the Madrigal Choir

Leo Sowerby was a major composer of sacred music.  The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton joins with the choir of Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church for a performance of his cantata “Forsaken of Man’. We hear from the accompanist, Bill Trafka, who has wanted to perform it for a long time, and learn about Sowerby and this rarely-performed masterpiece.  

Photo credit: Madrigal Choir of Binghamton

The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble goes on the road

The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble presents “The Spirit Sings” in two performances, one in Ithaca and another in Seneca Falls.  Artistic Director Sean Linfors joins us to talk about the themes of the concert,  the long break the ensemble had during the shut-down, and the excitement accompanying the premiere of a new work.  

Photo credit: Cayuga Vocal Ensemble

STAR performs an off-beat play by George Bernard Shaw

Forget Pygmalion, Caesar and Cleopatra, Heartbreak House, or The Devil’s Disciple.  George Bernard Shaw’s Too True to Be Good is an absurdist romp through history with a microbe who makes a patient sick, and she returns the favor by making the microbe sick.  Director Chris Nickerson and actor Bill Gorman join us a guides through this quirky comedy.  

Photo credit: Southern Tier Actors Read

Young string players perform in Delhi

The Little Delaware Youth Ensemble and Preparatory Orchestra return to performing live with a concert on Sunday, March 13 in the United Ministry Church of Delhi. Music Director joins us to talk about the concert by the older orchestra, with pieces performed by the Preparatory Orchestra led by Deborah Devine. To hear some performances, click here.  

Photo credit:  Little Delaware Youth Ensemble

Poet Merrill Douglas talks about her work on the latest Off the Page

Off The Page from WSKG · Off The Page – Poet Merrill Douglas

Merrill Douglas is a freelance editor and a poet. Her poems are ‘beautifully gritty,’ and explore the realities of life in ways that are both just a little bit icky, but also capture the life in the smallest detail. Her poems have appeared in the Baltimore Review, Tar River Poetry, Stone Canoe and more. Her chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press, is called Parking Meters Into Mermaids. Merrill joins host Crystal Sarakas to talk about her writing process and to read some of her work.

A new opera in Ithaca is both a love story and a clash between cultures and values

Opera Ithaca is presenting the premiere of a new opera, We Wear the Sea Like a Coat.  We hear from the composer, Sally Lamb McCune, and Artistic Director, Ben Robinson. They tell us about the gestation of the opera which began with a chance meeting in the Orkney Islands and grew into a poetic, but dramatic story.  

Photo credit: Opera Ithaca

The OSFL celebrates musical diversity and music in our schools

The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes is presenting “Musica Diversa”. We hear from Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada about this wide-ranging concert featuring music by Florence Price, Arturo Marquez, Bright Sheng, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and William Grant Still. The pianist in the Rachmaninoff is Christopher Tillen.  

Photo credit: Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes

A musical journey from darkness to light onstage at Binghamton University

The Binghamton University Music Department is presenting Mozart’s comic opera The Magic Flute in two performances with two casts.  Stage Director David Toulson joins us to talk about this story of a prince and princess on a path to enlightenment, with a lot of laughs along the way. The opera will also be live-streamed on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. 

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

Music for clarinet from south of the equator

Clarinetist Timothy Perry joins us to talk about a special program of music, mostly from south of the equator, that he and pianist Pej Reitz have been exploring over the past few years. The concert, Musica Australis, is Friday, February 18 at 7:30 in the Casadesus Recital Hall on the Binghamton University campus.  

Photo credit: Photo by Iain Cridland on Unsplash and Binghamton University Music Department

Rachael Sage joins Howard Jones at the Hangar Theatre

DSP Shows is presenting the Howard Jones Trio with guest artist singer/songwriter Rachael Sage in the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca. Rachael Sage joins us to talk about her many albums, as well as her many collaboration with other musicians.  She also talks about her Poetica project and the different aspects of writing poetry versus writing songs.  

Photo credit: Rachael Sage

An artist disrupts the life of a quiet family in a comedy at Know Theatre

Know Theatre of Binghamton presents Annie Baker’s Body Awareness. A famous photographer challenges a quiet family in Vermont, and is challenged himself in this comedy of academia.  Director Tim Gleason and actor Chris Nickerson join us to talk about the battle lines that are drawn, re-drawn, and the secrets that are revealed.  

Photo credit: Know Theatre

A woman’s complicated relationship with her doctor is the basis for a new play

Novelist Carson McKenna presents her first play. It is about an agoraphobic young woman dealing with her isolation.   She and director Missy Harris talk about the play and the cast, which includes a doctor playing a doctor, and a lawyer playing a lawyer. For more information: carsonmckenna88@gmail.com

 

Photo credit: Yellow Robin Photography

The OSFL presents holiday favorites, an aerial violinist, and new music

The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes presents a concert of traditional music for Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as new music by composer Polina Nazaykinskaya.  We hear from the composer, and from Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada. The concert also features aerial violinist Janice Martin.  

Photo credit: OSFL

Diving into myth with poet Jennifer Crow

Off The Page from WSKG · Off the Page – Jennifer Crow

Jennifer Crow has been writing poetry since she was a little girl. Her poems explore the edges of time and space, and of myth and lore. Her poetry has appeared in many print and electronic places over the past quarter of a century, including Analog Science Fiction, Uncanny Magazine, Kaleidotrope and more. Her 2020 poem “Still” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She talks with host Crystal Sarakas about writing and pushing the edges of comfort in her poetry.

An annual tradition is back

The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton returns to its annual tradition of Lessons and Carols for Christmas.  Artistic Director Bruce Borton joins us to talk about the wide variety of music presented in this free concert at Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church in Binghamton. Photo credit: Madrigal Choir of Binghamton

500 years of fashion created from paper

“Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper” is an exhibit on display through January 9, 2022 in the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Museum. Deputy Director and Chief Curator Stephen Harrison joins us to describe these historically accurate fashions, fabricated from paper.  

Photo credit: Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute

The Southern Tier Singers’ Collective performs music from a rare manuscript

Two years ago Binghamton University acquired a famous manuscript of music from the Convent of La Crocetta in Florence, Italy.  Associate Professor of Musicology Paul Schleuse tells the story of its journey from its origin in 1543 to Binghamton University.  Then the Southern Tier Singers’ Collective, prepared by William Culverhouse, performs a selection of excerpts from the manuscript.

A story of addiction, recovery and songwriting in Mary Gauthier’s “Saved By A Song”

Off The Page from WSKG · Off the Page – Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier was twelve years old when she was given her Aunt Jenny’s old guitar and taught herself to play with a Mel Bay basic guitar workbook. Music offered her a window to a world where others felt the way she did. Songs became lifelines to her, and she longed to write her own, one day. Then, for a decade, while struggling with addiction, Gauthier put her dream away and her call to songwriting faded. It wasn’t until she got sober and went to an open mic with a friend did she realize that she not only still wanted to write songs, she needed to.

Music from the 16th century is heard once more

The Southern Tier Singers’ Collective presents excerpts from a 16th century manuscript created for the Convent of La Crocetta in Florence. Paul Schleuse describes its creation and its mysterious journey from Italy to South America, and the exciting story of how it was acquired by Binghamton University, then conductor William Culverhouse continues the story with how it got from the page to the singers.  

Photo credit: Binghamton University and the Southern Tier Singers’ Collective

The BPO introduces recent music of a new composer, plus two familiar works

In its second concert of the season, the Binghamton Philharmonic presents “Ascend”, a program including music by Richard Wagner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and emerging composer Jessie Montgomery (pictured above).  Music Director Daniel Hege joins us to talk about discovering the music of Jessie Montgomery, the astonishing artistry of Mozart’s Symphony No.41, and Wagner’s Christmas present to his wife, and the conductor who taught himself to play the trumpet in the middle of a lake so that he could participate in the premiere.  

Photo credit: Binghamton Philharmonic and Alice G. Patterson

Jurassic Park meets Dungeons and Dragons in Carrie Vaughn’s Questland

When an eccentric billionaire loses control of his island resort-slash-theme park, literature professor Addie Cox is an unlikely choice to help fix the situation. But it’s no ordinary theme park: this is pure wizardry come to life, with unicorns, talking rabbits – and murder. The book is called Questland, a mad mashup of Jurassic Park and Dungeons and Dragons. Bestselling author Carrie Vaughn nerds out with host Crystal Sarakas about all things geek on the latest episode of Off the Page.

A Busy Actor Brings Her Storytelling Stand-up Comedy to the Firehouse Stage

You’ve heard her on Snap Judgment or possibly seen her on shows like Dead to Me, American Horror Story, The Middle, or Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Jen Kober brings her hilarious award-winning stories to the Firehouse Stage on Saturday, October 23. She talks about growing up in Louisiana entertaining her mother, her friends and eventually, audiences.  

Photo credit: Firehouse Stage

A Tour-de-force for Violin with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra

Cayuga Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Christina Bouey is the soloist in this weekend’s concert at Ford Hall on the Ithaca College campus.  She speaks with us about her deep love for Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, and the story behind the composition of the concerto.  The overture to the comic opera The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 are also on the program.  

Photo credit: Cayuga Chamber Orchestra

Celebrating Beethoven

After a year of not singing, the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton presents a concert intended for last year’s proposed Beethoven festival.  Music Director Bruce Borton speaks to us about some of Beethoven’s smaller and lesser know works they will be performing.  

Photo credit: Madrigal Choir of Binghamton

Hallowe’en Comes Early to the Broome County Forum

The Binghamton Theatre Organ Society welcomes theatre organist Jason Comet to supply music for the 1920 German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  Jason tells us how he assembles a score to accompany a silent film, and how this ground-breaking film became a classic.  

Photo credit: Binghamton Theatre Organ Society

The BPO Opens its Season with Two Familiar Works and an Exciting New Piece

The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Broome County Forum after a long hiatus with “Emerge”, a program featuring Haydn’s last symphony, Mendelssohn’s famous violin concerto with young violinist Julian Rhee, and a recent work, “Pizzicato” by composer Vivian Fung. Music Director Daniel Hege joins us, along with the composer of “Pizzicato”. We hear how Maestro Hege discovered “Pizzicato” and immediately knew that he had to program it, and we hear about the work of this busy young composer.  

Photo credit: Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra

It’s Time for Laughs at the Cider Mill Stage

Terrence McNally’s backstage comedy “It’s Only a Play” is performed at Cider Mill Stage. We hear from Kate Murray and Rob Egan of the production company BLAST about their new theatrical venture and this irreverent comedy about opening night jitters that opens the BLAST season.  

Photo credit: BLAST Presents

Tri-Cities Opera Hosts the U.S. Army Field Band for the Performance of a New Opera

“The Falling and the Rising” is a new opera formed from interviews with many soldiers. It is being performed at the Broome County Forum.  Tri-Cities Opera General Director John Rozzoni and tenor SFC Ben Hilgert talk about the genesis of the opera and the many veterans services that will be available at the performance.  

Photo credit: Tri-Cities Opera

 

 

Three Concerts in One Weekend

The First Presbyterian Church of Gilbertsville, NY again hosts the annual Labor Day weekend concerts by the Millenium Strings, musicians from the Magic Mountain Music Farm. We hear from the founder, Burton Kaplan, violinist Marvin Suson, and hard-working pianist Cullan Bryant.  

Photo credit:  Magic Mountain Music Farm

Fun Music at the Forum for Labor Day

The WFM Festival Orchestra presents a Labor Day weekend concert. Conductor Daniel Fabricius and orchestra member David Ripic join us to talk about the program, how this orchestra differs from most large ensembles, and some music of historical importance played for the first time in this century. And we finally find out what “WFM” stands for.  

Photo credit: WFMFO

Two Interrelated Art Exhibits in Utica

The Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute Museum is presenting two complementary art exhibits. One is a traveling exhibit of work by African-American artist Emma Amos and the other is work from the permanent collection reflecting on Amos’ work.  Curator Mary Murray talks about these interrelated exhibits.  

Photo credit: Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute

A Famous Play Receives a Sequel

Franklin Stage Company presents Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2”. We hear from Leslie Noble, who plays Nora, about the play and what happened after the famous closing of the door. She also talks about the joys of performing in front of a live audience after a long break.  

Photo credit: Russ Rowland via Franklin Stage Company

Hamilton-Gibson Productions Stage a Comedy with an Unusual Premise

A woman’s impatience with a fellow diner at a restaurant leads her down a rabbit hole into his life.  Sarah Ruhl’s comedy Dead Man’s Cell Phone comes to Wellsboro from long-time theatre company Hamilton-Gibson Productions.  We hear from the director, the actor portraying the main character, and the actor playing the titular “dead man.”  

Photo credit: Hamilton-Gibson Productions

The Geneva Music Festival is Back!

The Geneva Music Festival is returning with a series of live and online concerts with a large range of musical genres.  We hear from the artistic director, and also one of the performers, Geoffrey Herd.  

Photo credit: Geneva Music Festival

Underground Railroad Statue Stolen From Western New York Town

The missing statue is that of “Tom,” a runaway slave in torn clothing, his hand outstretched toward another statue, that of Catherine Harris. Harris and her father were the first “colored” people in Jamestown.

Bob Fass, longtime radio host for WBAI, died Saturday. His show, Radio Unnameable, aired for more than 50 years.

Bob Fass, New York Radio Pioneer, Dies At 87

Bob Fass hosted the influential New York City radio show Radio Unnameable for more than 50 years. It served as a megaphone for the 1960s counterculture and boosted folk and blues artists.

Know Theatre Works Around COVID Restrictions to Present a Play

We are all using technology in new ways during this pandemic. Know Theatre is presenting Robert Patrick’s “One Person: A Monologue”. Tim Gleason joins us to talk about this ingenious play about two people, the technology involved, and the fascinating life story of the author.  

Photo credit: Know Theatre

Cuomo: Halloween Trick-Or-Treating Left To Parents

“If you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you and I’m not going to tell you not to. If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not going to tell you, you can’t take your child to the neighborhood. I’m not going to do that.”

An Inside Look at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

A native of Waterloo, NY, mezzo-soprano Lindsay Kate Brown was one of nine finalists in the Grand Finals Concert, out of thousands of singers from around the world.  She talks to us by phone from Houston, where she is with the Houston Grand Opera, about the process, and about a dizzying week when she sang in the Metropolitan Opera Grand Finals Concert, and won another competition just two days before.  

Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann