Live and Local
I’ve been privileged to work at WILL Radio since July of 1996—for twelve-plus years hosting classical music and the last five and a half as host and producer of “Live and Local,” a show that has proved a wonderful fit for me. The Friday edition will be my last, as I leave these communities for the Chicago suburbs, prospects unknown. I hope you’ll join me for live performances in our studio by three student ensembles from the Illinois Summer Youth Music program at the University of Illinois.
In this my final week hosting the show, we’ve so far covered musical theater, a concert of French sacred music, a roots-rock band, a roots-bluegrass band and a university concert band. I’d call that a pretty typical mix of what the show has been about for five and a half years. On the Thursday edition, we’ll have a live performance in our studio by the Champaign Cello Choir, who will play a concert in Urbana next Wednesday evening.
I'll be hosting “Live and Local” on FM 90.9 for just a few more days. I’ve had the great pleasure to help you discover some of the talented musicians, actors and dancers who live and work in our communities. The University of Illinois band program is certainly one of the artistic jewels of the entire state. They’ll offer their 104th season of summer band concerts, starting Thursday, and I’ll talk with director Linda Moorhouse on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” Also, we'll hear from Dave Wilson, lead singer and guitarist for North Carolina's roots/bluegrass band Chatham County Line, who play at Allerton Park in Monticello on June 27.
This is my last week as host of “Live and Local” on FM 90.9. I had thought of presenting a week of highlights from past shows but decided to keep doing what the show was meant to do: feature local and visiting artists whose concerts you can actually attend. So the Tuesday edition of the show will cover Sunday’s concert of French sacred music by the Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana and a Champaign house concert by the Nashville-based duo Wild Ponies.
The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan has been producing live professional theatre since 1957. While you can see shows there all year long, summertime is the heart of its calendar, with three productions still to come. The Tony-award-winning musical Big River will open at the Little Theatre on Wednesday, and I’ll welcome executive producer John Stephens to the Monday edition of “Live and Local.”
Gerald “Candy” Foster has been performing classic rhythm and blues throughout the Midwest for more than forty years. But folks rarely get a chance to hear him “unplugged, up close and personal.” That’s how his Friday evening show in Urbana is billed, and we’ll have a live sample on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear a live preview of Saturday’s season-opening concert by the Urbana Pops Orchestra.
The Colorado-based band Dave and the Gin Mill Gypsies play original music in the styles of hot jazz and old-time swing, and whatever other style seems appropriate to the song. They’ll play in Springfield and Urbana this weekend, and we’ll meet leader David Wiatrolik on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll talk also with Davina Sowers of Davina and the Vagabonds, who will headline a concert in Urbana Friday night.
The annual Summer Harp Class at the University of Illinois happens this week, Thursday through Saturday. Besides classes and presentations by and for harpists, there will also be several performances open to the public. We’ll have two of those performers—the harp duo Ginger and Spice—play for us live on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear from half of the harp-and-bass River Town Duo.
Janis Ian’s two greatest hits were also her very first: “Society’s Child,” written when she was fourteen, and “At Seventeen,” when she was twenty-four. But she has been prolific as a singer, songwriter and author for over forty years. She’ll perform in Charleston Thursday night, and she’ll be my guest on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear a live preview of Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company’s production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
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