April 22, 2014

Renowned Singers Perform in Urbana and Springfield

Baritone Nathan Gunn brings vocal richness and dramatic credibility wherever he sings—in concert, in opera or increasing in musical theater. He’ll join his musical and life partner Julie Gunn for a recital in Urbana on May 1, and I’ll visit with both on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll talk also with soprano Ollie Watts Davis, who will bring her recreation of Marian Anderson’s famous 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial to Springfield on Saturday.

April 21, 2014

“America’s Got Talent” Runner-Up to Sing in Peoria

When Barbara Padilla auditioned for America's Got Talent in 2009, one judge called her performance of Charles Gounod's Ave Maria "the best vocal performance in the history of the show." Having dreamed of becoming an opera singer, she now proudly accepts the label of crossover artist, and her first CD is due out shortly. Barbara Padilla will perform with the Heartland Festival Orchestra in Peoria on Saturday, and she'll be my guest on the Monday edition of "Live and Local."

April 18, 2014

Anne Akiko Meyers Releases New Vivaldi CD

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers recently made headlines when she was given, on lifetime loan, an exquisite 1741 violin made by Giuseppe Guarneri. She has a new CD of concertos by Vivaldi--who happened to have died the same year her violin was made. I'll talk with Ms. Meyers on the Friday edition of "Live and Local."

April 17, 2014

Barn Dance with Live Music at Monticello’s Allerton Park

Wikipedia, that fount of all knowledge, says that a barn dance usually involves traditional or folk music and dancing, only occasionally in a barn. But Friday night you can take your dancing shoes to an actual barn at Allerton Park in Monticello for a genuine barn dance, with music provided, in order, by the youthful Bow-Dacious String Band, guitarist Sam Payne and Friends and a band called The Curses. Sam will give us a preview on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 16, 2014

University of Illinois Horn and Percussion Ensembles Perform This Week

The University of Illinois School of Music boasts a stellar performing faculty, as well as numerous student ensemble coached by faculty members. Semester’s end always brings multiple opportunities to see and hear some fine performances, most of them free or inexpensive. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” we’ll learn about concerts by the UI percussion and horn ensembles, both happening Thursday in Urbana.

April 15, 2014

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Parkland Theatre in Champaign

It’s difficult to believe that Monty Python’s Flying Circus ran originally for only five years, from 1969 to 1974. The troupe’s best-known film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, followed in 1975, and I remember kids in high school endlessly repeating lines from the movie. Many of those lines are preserved in the Tony-winning musical Monty Python’s Spamalot, the next show at Parkland Theatre in Champaign. We’ll have a live preview on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 14, 2014

Champaign-Urbana’s Tuesday Morning Musical Club Turns 100

One hundred years ago this coming October, five women in Champaign-Urbana gathered together another twenty-six women to form what came to be called the Tuesday Morning Musical Club. Their mission? “To advance the interests and promote the culture of musical arts in the community and the mutual improvement of its members.” Current members of the club will play for us live on the Monday edition of “Live and Local,” and we’ll hear the group’s full history.

April 11, 2014

Ronny Cox Band Plays in Urbana

For a guy who has played villainous characters in films like Total Recall and Robocop and the TV show Stargate, Ronny Cox sure seems like an awfully nice guy—and a fine lifelong musician. In fact, he says that while he loves acting, he doesn’t love it as much as music, “because of the personal connection you can make through music.” Ronny Cox and his band will play a house concert in Urbana Friday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 10, 2014

Highland Bagpiper Paul Hinson Plays in Champaign

“The pipes,” “a set of pipes,” “a stand of pipes”—all refer to the bagpipe, which exists in many forms. Without doubt the most commonly called to mind is the Great Highland bagpipe native to Scotland since around the 15th century. While best known for its role in pipe bands, the Highland pipe can also be a solo instrument and, as such, will be played by Paul Hinson at a noon-time concert in Champaign on Friday. I’ll talk with Paul on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 09, 2014

DoCha Festival Returns to Champaign and Early Music in Charleston

The Fifth Annual DoCha Chamber Music Festival happens this weekend in downtown Champaign, with free concerts by world-class artists and some fun programs for children. I’ll talk with festival co-organizer Stefan Milenkovich on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” And, live in our studio, we’ll hear a preview of Thursday’s early music recital by faculty members at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

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