Holiday Meet-Ups with WDAV

WDAV Classical Public Radio has a number of special broadcasts and events planned this holiday season. Join us!

Charlotte Lessons and Carols from St. John’s
Friday, December 3 at Noon
St. John’s Baptist Church, 300 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte

This live broadcast of Scripture readings, interspersed with Christmas carols, hymns and choir music, is hosted by WDAV’s Jennifer Foster. Area choirs are joined by special guests, including Charlotte Symphony trumpeter Karen Bliznik and Maureen Howell playing the Letourneau organ in the warmly resonant sanctuary of St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood. This event is FREE.

WDAV’s Holiday Open House
Friday, December 3, 5-7:30 p.m.
WDAV, 423 North Main Street, Davidson

It’s Christmas in Davidson – that lively sh-operation that takes over Main Street for all things seasonal. WDAV joins with our neighbors on Friday evening for a family-friendly holiday celebration. Stroll down Main Street to the WDAV Studios to enjoy lively seasonal music, warm beverages, studio tours with your favorite WDAV personalities and more. This event is FREE.

Charlotte Chamber Music “First Tuesday” Concert
Tuesday, December 7 at Noon
First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Trade Street, Charlotte

The Queen City’s premiere chamber music series offers up a “Brass Spectacular” of great holiday works from the Renaissance to the present. Hosted by WDAV’s Mike McKay, this live broadcast showcases new arrangements of music by Praetorius and Bach, all the way up to a lively and original take on Leroy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride. This event is FREE.

Music at St. Alban’s
Sunday, December 12 at 3 PM
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 300 Caldwell Lane, Davidson

Once again, WDAV shares a great Davidson holiday tradition with the Carolinas and the world: The Beggar Boys, featuring the stunning soprano of Abigail Haynes Lennox, present their annual concert of songs, stories, and dances to welcome the season and warm the spirit. Rachel Stewart hosts this live holiday broadcast from St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson. Purchase tickets for this event by calling the St. Alban’s box office at 704-941-0650.

To learn more about WDAV’s Holiday Events, call WDAV at 877-333-8990!

By Ken Keuffel, Winston Salem Journal
Published October 10, 2010
Winston Salem Journal

The music of Latin America has been ringing in my ears lately. And I’m not talking about what you hear at parties or pop-music concerts, though much of that material is definitely worth hearing.

I’ve also become better acquainted with several fine Hispanic musicians. These players likely aren’t household names in the United States and even Latin America — but they ought to be.

The music and musicians in question belong to part of a classical-music tradition that is being celebrated on a recently issued 2-CD recording and on two programs on WDAV (89.9-FM). They have made me a fan.

The recording, Mi Alma Mexicana/My Mexican Soul (Sony Classical), features Alondra de la Parra conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in 200 years of orchestral music by Mexican composers.

The two programs on WDAV are Concierto and Mexico at 200. The latter, a four-part series airing Sunday afternoons, wraps up today; in it, de la Parra plays and talks about all kinds of Mexican symphonic music, providing a useful retrospective on sounds as conservative as the Euro-centric Ricardo Castro and as hip as Enrico Chapela, whose Inguesu (2003) is inspired by soccer!

In Concierto, which airs for two hours each Saturday evening, WDAV announcer Frank Dominguez introduces music by Latin American and Spanish composers and recordings in which Latin American or Spanish performers are featured. He does so in both Spanish and English. This kind of thing rarely happens at classical-music stations across the country.

Continue Reading »

By Steven Brown
Posted: Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010

Launching a revived on-air relationship between the Charlotte Symphony and WDAV-FM (89.9), the first concert of the orchestra’s season will be broadcast live from Belk Theater.

The Sept. 24 broadcast will feature the orchestra’s first concert under its new music director, Christopher Warren-Green.

“For the start of the Warren-Green era, we wanted to start a new era in the broadcast relationship, too,” WDAV general manager Ben Roe told the Observer.

The Davidson classical radio station will broadcast seven Charlotte Symphony concerts this season, Roe said. The remaining six – featuring concerts to be picked later – will be broadcast on a delayed basis on WDAV’s weekly “Carolina Live” program.

Warren-Green said in a statement that the broadcasts are “a critical step to the future of this orchestra.”

“The Charlotte Symphony belongs to the people of this community, and our presence on WDAV will bring the orchestra to everyone – into their homes, their cars, their offices.”

Roe pointed to the benefits that have come from WDAV’s broadcasts from the Brevard Music Center, which began last summer.

Festival leaders have said the broadcasts boosted ticket sales, Roe said, and the station has had indications of audience growth in the broadcasts’ time slot.

Roe said the Charlotte Symphony broadcasts could generate the same payoff.

“The healthier the Charlotte Symphony is, the healthier WDAV is,” Roe said, “and vice versa.”

The agreement between the orchestra and WDAV needs the ratification of the orchestra’s players, said Frank Portone, chair of the committee that represents the players.

“This agreement represents a long-held desire by the musicians of the Charlotte Symphony to have a regular broadcast presence,” Portone said in a statement. “I’m excited that we will have the opportunity to showcase the symphony just as we embark on a new era of artistic excellence under maestro Warren-Green.”

The broadcasts will continue through the 2012-13 season, with seven concerts a year going out over the air.

The Sept. 24 broadcast begins at 7 p.m. with pre-concert features. The concert, featuring works by Edward Elgar, starts at 8. http://wdav.org.


CONTACT:   WDAV: Lisa Gray – (704) 641-4691 or ligray@wdav.org
CSO: Meg Freeman Whalen – (704) 714-5114 or megw@charlottesymphony.org

Warren-Green’s First Concert to be Broadcast Live

August 23, 2010 | DAVIDSON & CHARLOTTE, NC –Today WDAV Classical Public Radio and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced an unprecedented three-year agreement to bring the area’s largest professional orchestra to the airwaves. Beginning with the 2010-11 season, WDAV will produce and broadcast seven of the CSO’s classical concerts each season through 2013. The agreement, forged among WDAV, CSO management, CSO musician representatives, and Local 342 of the American Federation of Musicians, is pending ratification by the full membership of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

The first broadcast under the terms of the new pact will be a historic occasion: the CSO’s season-opening concert on Friday, September 24th, which also marks the debut of Christopher Warren-Green as the orchestra’s new Music Director. Beginning at 7 p.m., WDAV’s Jennifer Foster and Joe Brant will present the broadcast live on WDAV 89.9 and on wdav.org, direct from the Belk Theater of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The centerpiece of the concert will be the emerging superstar cellist Alisa Weilerstein making her CSO debut in the Cello Concerto in E Minor by Sir Edward Elgar.

“I am absolutely thrilled by this agreement, which I view as a critical step to the future of this orchestra,” said Warren-Green. “The Charlotte Symphony belongs to the people of this community, and our presence on WDAV will bring the orchestra to everyone – into their homes, their cars, their offices.”

“Bearing in mind that it must still be ratified by the members of the orchestra, this agreement represents a long-held desire by the musicians of the Charlotte Symphony to have a regular broadcast presence,” added CSO Orchestra Committee Chair Frank Portone. “I’m excited that we will have the opportunity to showcase the Symphony just as we embark on a new era of artistic excellence under Maestro Warren-Green.”

Continue Reading »

Couple makes backing the arts festive

By Steven Brown
Posted: Sunday, Jul. 04, 2010

It’s one of those Myers Park homes whose ground floor has room enough to double as a mini-concert hall. In the foyer, a violinist, cellist and pianist are driving toward the lusty finish of a Johannes Brahms concerto.

At the last flourish, guests seated throughout the front rooms burst into applause. As the musicians finish their bows, one of the hosts dashes up to the piano. He’s all but shaking with excitement.

“This,” Wilton Connor exclaims, “is the way music should be heard!”

He has a big finish of his own: Already, he says, one of the guests has promised $1,000 to the Charlotte Symphony.

Wilton and Catherine Connor have hosted around 50 of these musicale-fundraisers over the past 15 years or so. The dollars and camaraderie have flowed to an array of cultural groups. Yet these shindigs represent only a fraction of the time and energy the Connors put into the arts in Charlotte.

Even if you’ve never attended one of the soirees, you’re probably aware of the hosts. They must be the most-mentioned arts backers in town.

In honor of a donation they made a decade ago to WDAV, announcers tell radio audiences many times a day that the music emanates “from the Catherine and Wilton Connor Broadcast Booth” at the station in Davidson. Much of what they’ve done is less publicized – and more personal than writing a check.

Wilton used connections in the Latino community to help WDAV promote “Concierto,” a classical-music program in Spanish. Catherine, an accountant, helped Opera Carolina revamp its financial controls after money was mishandled. Wilton spearheaded a dinner-and-concert package for a concert series at Queens University of Charlotte.

Continue Reading »

From WDAV’s Classical Musings Blog
Posted June 23, 2010

Music fans looking for a respite from the heat this summer can tune to WDAV 89.9 Classical Public Radio each Sunday at 3 P.M. for some high country (and high culture) relief! WDAV continues its summer music festival coverage with OpenAir Brevard, a new weekly concert broadcast series from the 74th season of the renowned Brevard Music Festival in Western North Carolina. The 7-week series begins this Sunday, June 27, at 3 P.M. with a live broadcast direct from Brevard’s historic Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium.

WDAV’s Jennifer Foster and Ben Roe host an all-American program with works by Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, as well as Aaron Copland’s stirring Third Symphony, and George Gershwin’s great Piano Concerto in F, featuring pianist Norman Krieger. The Brevard Music Center Orchestra is led by Artistic Administrator Keith Lockhart, who also conducts the Boston Pops Orchestra.

“Brevard has done a stellar job with its programming and its all-star talent this season,” says WDAV General Manager Ben Roe. “Any summer festival in the country would be proud to present this line-up. The good news for Carolinians is that we don’t have to travel to Tanglewood or Aspen or Ojai to hear it. Brevard Music Center has brought it all to us, and WDAV is honored to bring it to our listening audience.”

And the audience extends well beyond WDAV’s listeners. OpenAir Brevard will also be broadcast on Sundays at 3 P.M. by Asheville’s public radio station, WCQS 88.1. Continue Reading »

A note from WDAV General Manager Benjamin K. Roe

Friends: Greetings from Charleston, SC, where WDAV is just wrapping up its special two-week long coverage of activities here at the Spoleto Festival USA. We’ve been on the air for four hours a day from Charleston, thanks to our partnership with ETV Radio of South Carolina, recording concerts, interviews, assembling features, shooting videos, and generally being “embedded” here in the midst of the Spoleto scene. It’s been a terrific, if somewhat sleep-depriving experience, but I’m very proud of the work that our ETV and WDAV staffs have been doing…both here in Charleston and “back at the ranch” in both Columbia and Davidson.

(If you haven’t yet had the chance, take a moment to investigate our http://spoletofest.org site. WDAV’s New Media Director Rachel Stewart and her staff have been doing some terrific work in getting all of our Spoleto coverage translated to the world of the web, in a remarkably timely fashion!)

But that’s not why I’m writing to you all today. I’m very pleased to announce that it’s now official: WDAV is the recipient of a $55,000 Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grant for the further development and piloting of Concierto, WDAV’s Spanish-language initiative in the realm of classical music.

The official announcement came on Tuesday afternoon, at a ceremony at the Knight Theatre in Charlotte, and has already been written up in both the Charlotte Business Journal and the Charlotte Observer.

To be sure, we have a lot of work that lies ahead in the development of Concierto, but I think this is a tremendous vote of confidence for our plans, and represents an important milestone in the station’s history.

A special thanks to co-chairs of our Ad-Hoc Committee – Dan Ramirez and Wilton Connor – and all of the Board members who gathered around the table a year ago when we hatched this plan.


Thanks and all best. See you at the Board meeting next week.


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