The CHORALE of Champaign-Urbana began in 1982 as a small ensemble of singers providing music for the holidays in Mahomet. The group is now seventy-something strong, singing three concerts annually under the direction of Julie Beyler—including every New Year’s Eve. I’ll welcome Julie and featured pianist Michael Hammer to the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about Saturday’s gig in Decatur by the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project.
Live and Local
In a past life, Keith Harden was a widely traveled blues-folk-Americana-etc. guitarist-singer—as he puts it himself. Long a fixture in the Champaign-Urbana area, he now lives in Nashville but treks back to C-U every Christmas for a round of local gigs. Keith and his vocalist sister Kathy Harden will play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about the 2nd annual Christmas variety show at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.
Ken Bello comes from a line of Russian ballet dancers and has partnered principal ballerinas from prominent companies around the world--among them his wife, Michelle Holmes-Bello. Together they founded USA Ballet, based in Bloomington-Normal, whose Youth Ensemble will present The Nutcracker Saturday afternoon. I'll talk with Ken Bello on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local."
I’m a long-ex player of the French horn, and one of my favorite pieces involving that instrument is the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings by Benjamin Britten. The Illinois Chamber Orchestra will present it in Bloomington and Springfield this weekend, and I’ll talk with tenor William Burden on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” For most of the hour, we’ll hear a fine acoustic duo called The Flower Jax, live in our studio. They play in Fairmount Sunday afternoon.
Miracle on 34th Street is one of the most loved stories of the holiday season. If you missed seeing it in Charleston last weekend, you can catch Bah Humbug Productions’ rendition in Champaign the next two weekends. We’ll have a live preview on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also rebroadcast a live performance in our studio by members of the Millikin University Faculty Jazz Sextet, who give their annual Holiday Jazz concert in Decatur Saturday.
Throughout 2012, the show has brought you some of the best performers our community has to offer, in a remarkable variety of acoustic music, theater and dance. And we’ve showcased many nationally touring artists who have played in our area. Sharing all this with you brings me great joy, and I’m looking forward to a music-filled 2013. While I take a break from the show for a while, please enjoy the classical music in the “Live and Local” time slot—and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!
Illinois fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt has made himself a specialist in French Creole and Cajun language, culture and music. He has just released a new CD exploring the music of Midwestern French America, and is preparing to perform at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival between June 21st and July 1st. We’ll talk with him on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll preview the “Young at Heartland” Senior Acting Program Summer Showcase.
When you read Kent Conrad’s short bio, you may not learn that he has practiced law and translated Chinese for the Air Force. But his abiding love is music, especially musical theater, and he’s involved in two productions for Summer Studio Theatre at the University of Illinois. We’ll preview the show Gone Missing and Kent’s solo cabaret on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Station Theatre in Urbana will celebrate 40 years of creating innovate theater this summer, beginning with a musical called The Game of Love. The show adapts five one-act plays by Arthur Schnitzler, with music by Jacques Offenbach and Nancy Ford. Director Stephen Fiol and several of his actors will give us a live preview on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company will present its 7th annual Kathy Murphy Memorial Student Production, "Thoroughly Modern Millie," this weekend. We'll have a live preview on today's show. And I'll chat with singer-songwriter Steve Poltz, who performs at Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount Wednesday night.