So Percussion on Q2

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You've hopefully heard Q2's "stings" countless times by now. Stings are the pre-recorded, station-identifying short bits of music used as segues between songs. In radio jargon, they're also referred to as sweepers, stingers, radio/station imaging, bumpers, shotguns... admittedly, the radio industry has some eccentric terminology.

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Just Say No

Saturday, December 11, 2010

As the New Year approaches, people always talk about their resolutions, primarily what they plan to do. But what about what you plan not to do? I saw a piece on the news about a woman who was encouraging mothers not to volunteer so much! Horrors! Seems like a very non-PC thing to say, but what with PTA, non-profits, religious and other volunteer organizations, people are finding less time for their themselves, family and friends.

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Is it Time to Retire the Term 'Classical Music?'

Friday, December 10, 2010

"I hate 'classical' music" is how New Yorker music critic Alex Ross begins his most recent book Listen to This. Alex will be my guest on my new program All Ears this Saturday at 10 pm.

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A Memory of December 8, 1980

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I have a very vivid memory from thirty years ago tonight.

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The Hallelujah Chorus in a Mall?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Midge Woolsey observes: I've received several notices about this YouTube clip of people in a Canadian mall breaking out into a performance of the Hallelujah chorus. I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm wiping the tears from my eyes.

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Tongue-Tied in the Chorus

Monday, December 06, 2010

Jeff Spurgeon writes: "I’ve sung in good choirs and not-as-good choirs, in ensembles large and small, singing early music and brand-new music. I’ve been a useful chorister, and, at least one time, a completely useless one."

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Bizarre Holiday Traditions

Thursday, December 02, 2010

What I enjoy most about this time of year is the tradition of season. But until now I never seriously thought about how my indulging in these sacred traditions could be an affront to someone else.

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Christmas, Christmas Time is Near

Monday, November 29, 2010

Naomi Lewin asks: What does a nice Jewish girl know about Christmas music? After decades as a choral singer, church soloist, and radio host, the answer is, "Plenty!"

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Reflections on Strauss's Intermezzo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

As I write this, I’m still thinking about how great it was to meet so many listeners last Thursday evening at New York City Opera as we gathered to enjoy Strauss's Intermezzo together. Thank you so much for opting to join us for the adventure!

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I Was a Teenage Trombonist

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sounds like a horror movie, doesn’t it? As Jeff Spurgeon tell us, for family and friends, perhaps it was. But his trombone tale is very much a happy one.

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Are iPad Orchestras In Play?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What do you think about iPads as instruments? A few months ago the pianist Lang Lang came to our studio and played Flight of the Bumblebee on one. That's possible because of a three-dollar application that simulates a keyboard. Now there is an app that simulates the violin.

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Name That Tune

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Everyone has had the experience of singing or humming a tune that’s been driving you crazy, trying to identify it. A music discovery Web site offers some help.

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How the Oboist's Art is Like a Bad Marriage

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There are many conversations that go on between an instrumentalist and their instrument. For the oboist and the oboe, a good face in public masks constant bickering and drama behind the scenes.

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Remembering Shirley Verrett

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

With the news of her death over the weekend, I found myself watching clips of Shirley Verrett on YouTube yesterday. Sadly, I never saw her perform on the opera stage. But, thanks to YouTube, I was able to get a sense of just how fabulous she was. I was absolutely blown away by what I saw. Her Delilah was to die for. And this from a woman who was known to be quite shy! Amazing. I’m still moved as I think about it this morning.

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Blame it on Pops

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My elementary school required that its students sing in the school choir or play an instrument. I chose trumpet. It was loud, shiny and, I thought, how difficult could it be?

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Marathon Music

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

If you’re running the New York City Marathon this Sunday, what classical music will be on your iPod? Or if you’re strictly a spectator, what classical selections would you suggest? Tell us and listen to this week's Arts File.

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Calling All Marching Band Fanatics

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Midge Woolsey asks: Did you play in a marching band? Do you still play today? And, what makes being in one so much fun anyway? And are they different than they were – say – 20 or 30 years ago?

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An Ill Wind Nobody Blows Good

Monday, November 01, 2010

"No one seems exactly sure who turned that phrase about the oboe, but it does seem to have happened long before my assault on the instrument," says our Naomi Lewin.

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Scary Music, Then and Now

Monday, October 25, 2010

What’s the scariest piece of music you know? In celebration of Halloween, our Jeff Spurgeon thinks it's the perfect occasion to ask.

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For Racette, Puccini Heroines and Berlin Cabaret

Monday, October 25, 2010

One of today's most respected Puccini sopranos, Patricia Racette tells Midge Woolsey about her ecclectic career that spans verismo to cabaret. And she reveals why she identifies with "complicated, conflicted" characters.

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