Voice of the Arts
The Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media's Executive Director Kyle Houser gives WQED-FM a glimpse at the dozens of classes and workshops they currently offer. He also describes the variety of ways that funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) supports the organization's programming and operations.
WQED-FM's Anna Singer spoke with Kris Rust about the 14th annual Let Freedom Sing Concert celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on January 16, 2021 at 7 pm. Solo vocalists Anita Levels and Michael Warren, spoken word artist Vanessa German, and the Dr. J Piano Trio and Boys Choir from the Afro American Music Institute perform a program safely live streamed over Youtube and Facebook from Pittsburgh's historic Hill District. The concert will culminate with a virtual performance by an interfaith, intergenerational choir directed by Dr. Herbert Jones and made up of singers from Pittsburgh, PA and Lexington, NC.
On January 8, 2021, musicians from more than two dozen local bands collaborated to record the song "SOS 2020", spreading awareness of the impact that the pandemic has had on the live music industry. WQED-FM talks with the songwriter, Eric Rodger, about how this Save Our Stages project came to fruition and what he hopes it will accomplish.
The Pittsburgh Youth Chorus' Executive Director Lee Saville-Iksic talks about the chorus' programs and upcoming activities, including a collaborative project with the Hill Dance Academy Theatre called Crossings. He emphasized the importance of grant funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), especially as the organization rolls out significant changes to their business model. A native of Pittsburgh, Mr. Saville-Iksic has a strong background in choral music education and conducting, and he became Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus in 2019.
Melissa Hiller, Director of the American Jewish Museum of the JCC, talks about the importance of grant funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) for the museum's operations. Her favorite past exhibits include a retrospective of Jane Haskell's artwork and a display of artwork depicting Fred Rogers. Ms. Hiller also talks about the professional path that led her to her current position.
Laura Gordon helped co-found the Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company in the Johnstown area. Laura talks about the Company's ongoing, very successful sonnet project in which actors and members of the community make videos of themselves reciting Shakespeare's sonnets. She also talks about her experience in London studying with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Alan Stanford, Adaptor and Director of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol," discusses the 2020 PICT radio play production, the cast and special features, sound design and music, production process at WQED, the meaning of the play and its relevance to today, the 150th anniversary of Dickens death, whether his visit to Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh inspired the chains of Marley's ghost in the play, whether Dickens is the greatest English author of all and theater superstitions including the ghost light left as a single bulb onstage when everyone goes home.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Artistic Director Susan Jaffe speaks with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about PBT's "Fireside Nutcracker" and much more.
Sara Botkin long time voice on WQED-FM during the fundraising drives and President and Financial Advisor in the Botkin Family Wealth Management firm discuses her singing career and her work with the investment management company. Sara tells the story of her escape from the World Trade Center on 9/11. Sara began her career in finance with AON Corporation in New York City, where she worked on the 105th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. Sara has helped raise awareness and funds for March of Dimes, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The United Way and the American Heart Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Washington County. Sara has recorded three CDs including An Angel's Christmas and Breath of Heaven using them for great causes: helping Pittsburgh’s WQED-FM 89.3 raise over $20,000 by donating the discs.
Pianist and Conductor Walter Morales talks about his Chatham University Beethoven Sonata series and its latest installment. He also updates the happenings for the Edgewood Symphony and gives post pandemic travel suggestions for his homeland of Costa Rica in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.