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

For Second Time In Two Months, Binghamton University Student Is Killed; Suspect Now In Custody

UPDATE: A suspect in the killing of Binghamton University student Joao Souza is now in custody. According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Michael Roque, 20, of Massapequa, New York, was charged with second-degree murder. Roque pleaded not guilty and was remanded to the Broome County Jail. Roque is also a student at Binghamton University. He is accused of stabbing the victim multiple times with a knife.

Yellow-Spotted Salamander Migration

Yellow-Spotted Salamander photo: Nancy Coddington

When the spring temperatures begin to rise and the snow recedes, the first warm rainy night of spring brings a chorus of spring peepers, wood frogs and mole salamanders. The spring migration happens sometime between mid March and April when evening temperatures rise above 40ºF as the amphibians move from the upland wooded areas to vernal pools and ponds to find suitable mates. Spotted salamanders are usually a secretive critter living under rocks, in seeps or underground in small damp burrows, so this is the night to be able to see them in large numbers. https://youtu.be/X9b02qycESc

This migration of yellow-spotted salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum, is a right of passage for some Binghamton University students. Devin DiGiacopo is a third year Phd student in Jessica Hua’s lab at Binghamton University and is researching how road salt affects spotted salamanders.

The Summer Savoyards Present 'The Sorcerer"

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The Summer Savoyards of Binghamton present Gilbert and Sullivan’s early operetta ‘The Sorcerer’ in the Chamber Hall of the Anderson Center on the Binghamton University campus. An egotistical nobleman about to be married conspires with a hapless “Family Sorcerer” to administer a love potion to the entire village. Since it is a comedy, the plot goes hilariously wrong. WSKG’s Sam Goodyear chats with Music Director Sherri Strichman and with the Sorcerer himself, John Starks. http://wskg.org/audio/sorcerer.mp3

 

Photo credit: Kirsten Johnson for the Summer Savoyards

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Investing In Higher Ed Grows Jobs, Population

Among the winners in New York’s Regional Economic Development awards last month were colleges and universities. Binghamton University, Cornell University and Broome Community College combined to win nearly $700,000 through the economic development grants. The money will be spent on research labs, manufacturing and start-up business incubators. Amanda Knarr works for the American Institute for Economic Research. She said this kind of investment creates jobs.

Binghamton University Presents a Jazz 'Nutcracker'

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The Binghamton University Theatre Department is presenting a Jazz Nutcracker.  Music of Duke Ellington is part of the fun as the traditional story of the Nutcracker is updated to the 1950s.  Choreographer JoEllen Kuhlman and Matt Pedersen, who dances the title role, talk about the fun of transforming this classic story. http://wskg.org/audio/jazznutmix.mp3

Photo credit: Binghamton University Theatre Department

Soprano Katherine Whyte and Pianist Joel Harder Present ‘From Salon to Stage’

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The Binghamton University Music Department presents ‘From Salon to Stage’, a program of art songs by Gabriel Faure and Sergei Rachmaninoff on the first half, and cabaret songs by Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, and William Bolcom. Soprano Katherine Whyte and pianist Joel Harder perform on Friday, December 2 at 7:30pm in United Presbyterian Church, 42 Chenango Street in Binghamton.  

 

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

Soprano Katherine Whyte and Pianist Joel Harder Present 'From Salon to Stage'

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The Binghamton University Music Department presents ‘From Salon to Stage’, a program of art songs by Gabriel Faure and Sergei Rachmaninoff on the first half, and cabaret songs by Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, and William Bolcom. Soprano Katherine Whyte and pianist Joel Harder perform on Friday, December 2 at 7:30pm in United Presbyterian Church, 42 Chenango Street in Binghamton.  

 

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

A Concert Presents Old and New Piano Trios

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The Binghamton University Music Department presents ‘Piano Trio: Old Meets New’ on Sunday, September 25 in the Chamber Hall of the Anderson Center on the Binghamton University Campus. Violinist Uli Speth, cellist, Zachary Sweet, and pianist Joel Harder perform piano trios by Ludwig van Beethoven, Amy Beach, Paul Schoenfield, and Binghamton University composition professor Daniel Davis. http://wskg.org/audio/ulizach.mp3

 

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

Binghamton University Hosts the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

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The Anderson Center on the Binghamton University campus presents the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, performing ‘Play and Play, An Evening of Music and Movement’.  He joins us to talk about his early dance experiences at what was then Harpur College, and with Binghamton’s American Dance Asylum. “Recognized as one of the most innovative forces in the modern dance world, Bill T. Jones returns to his alma mater for a Homecoming weekend performance by his dance company. While attending Binghamton University, Bill T. studied classical ballet and modern dance. Binghamton is also where he started his first dance company in 1973.” http://wskg.org/audio/jonesmix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

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Canvas In Curious Condition Launches Investigation At Binghamton University

 
Sometimes a thing’s value is in its story rather than the thing itself. That might be the case for a remarkable painting now at Binghamton University. On a recent visit to a storage room behind the museum, called “The Vault,” paintings both large and small covered the walls. There were shelves and cabinets obscuring the other side of the room, so the exact size of the room wasn’t clear. To the left was what looked like a big black window.

Historian James M. McPherson Talks Civil War History and 'Mercy Street'

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET.  

Dr. James McPherson is the George Henry Davis ‘86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988). He taught American history at Princeton University for 42 years and served as president of the American Historical Association. McPherson’s work mainly focuses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction and he is the recipient of two separate Lincoln Prizes.

Binghamton University's Past 2 Future Project Aims to Perserve Local History

On the second floor of Binghamton University’s Rockefeller Center building, you’ll find a room pilled high with boxes of photographs and film canisters alongside an array of digital equipment. This room is the headquarters of Binghamton University’s Past 2 Future Project. Hands-On Research
The Past 2 Future Project was started by the university as a way to preserve the area’s rich local history and to give its undergraduate students an opportunity for hands-on research. “Several years ago, the university interviewed undergraduates and asked them what would they like more of, or what was missing from their education,” states Dr. Kevin Wright, the director of the Past 2 Future Project. “One of the things that really came to the top of the list was more involvement in research.”

The Past 2 Future Project, or P2F, collects donations of historical materials, including photographs, diaries, and newspapers, from local individuals and organizations.

BU Graduate Assistants Protest For Equal Pay

Binghamton University’s incoming graduate and teaching assistants are being offered more money than those who currently work at the university. Current students rallied on campus Friday to protest the change. Katie Lacy is the co-president of the anthropology graduate organization. She says it costs money to pay for professional development in academia. If she uses her stipend on one conference, she might not be able to pay for a second.

A comedy of manners (without the manners) opens Binghamton University's theatre season

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Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy The God of Carnage is the next play presented by the Theatre Department of Binghamton University. Director Tom Kremer and one of the four actors, Tom Mackin,  talk about the two civilized and well-off couples who meet to solve a dispute between their two sons, and their descent into behavior that would make a ten-year-old blush.  The play was originally written in French, but has quickly been translated into many languages for successful productions. http://www.wskg.org/audio/carnagemix.mp3

 

 

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Pay-Per-Student Policy Forces BU Adjuncts To Get Creative

Summer is a lean time for adjunct professors. They teach part-time, and in the summer there are often fewer courses available for them. At Binghamton University, things get even tighter. That’s because of an unusual payment system that has adjuncts like Canan Tanir competing for students’ attention. Tanir has one course at Binghamton this summer.

Tri-Cities Opera presents "Speed Dating Tonight"

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Speed Dating Tonight is a new opera by Michael Ching.  It’s a humorous and sometimes moving take on the phenomenon, taking a look at some of the characters and their motivations. It’s also a work that can be re-arranged to fit the cast available, even changing genders of some of the characters. David Toulson directs the production, performed at the Tri-Cities Opera Center.  

 

Photograph Courtesy Tri-Cities Opera

The Lontano Ensemble performs at Binghamton University

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Odaline de la Martinez lead the Lontano Ensemble in music by Binghamton University composition students, as well as some of her own music. Martinez was the first woman to conduct a BBC Proms concert. She is also well-know as a champion of the music of Dame Ethyl Smythe and Heitor Villa-Lobos. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wskg/local-wskg-1039107.mp3

 

 

 

Photograph Courtesy Lontano Ensemble

New Exhibit at Binghamton University Highlights True Costs of the Civil War

The lower gallery of the Binghamton University Art Museum is abuzz with activity. A group of graduate students huddle around a tape measure debating the best way to hang a large picture frame on the wall. Around them on the floor, other frames and labels lay in neat rows. The students are setting up for a new exhibition, entitled The Civil War: Images of Ruin. “This is actually the first exhibition I’ve worked on,” explains Kasia Kieca, an art history student at Binghamton University.

February 26, 2015 | Homecoming Players of Ithaca; singer-songwriter Jesse Terry; Binghamton University Theater

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The Homecoming Players of Ithaca perform a prize-winning comedy from Canada. Singer-songwriter Jesse Terry performs at 6 On The Square in Oxford. Binghamton University Theater Department presents a modern take on Chekov’s The Seagull, but we can’t say the title on the air!  

 

January 15, 2015 | Jersey Boys; Theatron Productions; Haydn's Seven Last Words

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Theatron Productions presents their first performance, a cabaret of show tunes from musicals that weren’t big hits. Crystal Sarakas speaks with a cast member of the touring company of the musical Jersey Boys. Conductor Gerald Wolfe talks about the winter concert of the Ithaca Community Chorus that features Haydn’s Seven Last Words. Binghamton University professor Paul Schleuse has written a book about music from the early days of the printing press.  We hear part one of Bill Snyder’s interview with him.

The Binghamton University Orchestra presents "From the New World"

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Conductors Heather Worden and Timothy Perry talk with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about the Binghamton University Orchestra’s concert “From the New World”.  Antonin Dvorak’ s final symphony took shape during his stay in the United States when he listened to Negro spirituals and Native American music. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wskg/local-wskg-1037708.mp3

 

Photograph courtesy NoblePiranah via Flickr

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Binghamton University Students Protest Police Brutality

Protests continued Thursday in cities across the country, a day after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo was captured on video using a chokehold to arrest Eric Garner, leading to the 43-year-old unarmed black man’s death. At Binghamton University, about 100 students gathered to demonstrate against police brutality. They observed a four-and-a-half-minute silence. The length of the silence was the same amount of time that the body of Michael Brown, another unarmed black man whose death at the hands of police led to a grand jury declining to indict, lay in the street.

Binghamton University Theatre presents "A Chorus Line"

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Director Elizabeth Mozer and actress Zarina Latypova speak with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about the Binghamton University production of A Chorus Line. Mozer explains that casting a college production of show that demands acting and singing in addition to the required dancing is a challenging task, but that the students have met the challenge. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wskg/local-wskg-1037232.mp3

 

Photograph courtesy of Binghamton University

October 9, 2014 | Church Basement Ladies; author Joshua Palmatier; Binghamton University Theater

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The director of Church Basement Ladies at the Carousel Playhouse talks about the play and how she grew up with these ladies. Fantasy author Joshua Palmatier talks about starting his own press. Binghamton University Theater Department takes on a British farce. We hear from the director and one of the actors. We also have a preview of the weekend’s coming performances.

Clarinetist Timothy Perry and friends present music of the "Incurable Romantics"

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Clarinetist Timothy Perry speaks with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about the concert Incurable Romantics in the Watters Theatre of the Fine Arts Building on the Binghamton University campus.  He and pianist Pej Reitz are joined by organist Jonathan Biggers, bassoonist Martha Weber and clarinetist Sarah Chandler for a program of works by Brahms, Piazzolla, Richard Strauss, Ponchielli, Cavallini, and Verdi/Lovreglio. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1036364.mp3

 

Photograph courtesy Tim Swinson via Flickr.  

Preserving a Piece of Revolutionary War History in New York

During the summer of 1779, a military expedition ravaged the landscape of upstate New York. Today, on the 235th anniversary of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Public Archeology Facility (PAF) at Binghamton University has received a grant to help preserve a part of this often overlooked aspect of the American Revolution. The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign

In May of 1779, General George Washington ordered Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton to lead a military expedition into the western frontier of New York and Pennsylvania. The expedition was the Continental response to a series of deadly raids conducted from the region by Loyalists  and their Iroquois allies – most notably at Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and Cherry Valley in New York. The battles of Chemung and Newtown were the only major military engagements of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.

Peter Serko presents "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" at the Cider Mill Playhouse

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Peter Serko presents his multi-media one-man show about his brother David at the Cider Mill Playhouse.  The David Serko Project began as a play called “My Brother is Dead and Other Funny Stories” but grew as Peter began to track down people who knew David. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1035089.mp3

Photograph courtesy Peter Serko