Poetry Slam to be Featured on In Print Radio

Every third Tuesday of the month, the Nordloff Center is host to the Rockford Open-Mic and Poetry Slam.

The slam consists of two rounds. Anyone can participate in the first round. Poets perform a poem up to three minutes long. Poems are scored and the top three poets move to the second round. After that round is scored, the winners get their picture on the Rockford Ceritfied Slam Facebook page.

If you’re interested in participating, open mic performers can do anything they want up to five minutes in length. Poets planning to participate in the slam itself should bring three poems of up to three minutes each. The third poem will be used should there need to be a “tie-breaker” round.

Audience members can also be involved. Three members of the audience are given the job as judge – scoring each poet on a one-to-ten scale, similar to the Olympics.

If you’re still not clear as to what a Poetry Slam entails, the event held on February 15th was recorded as an episode of “In Print Radio”. Gwen Carratt spoke to a number of poets participating in the slam, asking about their history as poets, and the poems they brought to the slam. The episode will air on Sunday, April 17 at 7:00am with a rebroadcast on Monday morning, April 18 at 7:00.

After listening to the episode, please come out to the next Poetry Slam at the Nordloff Center on Tuesday, April 19 at 6:00. It is free to attend and free to participate in.

Malandrino to be Featured on Artist Spotlight

Pamela Scott speaks with members of Malandrino for the Artist Spotlight program.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the members of Malandrino; Jon Rozman, Ross Thompson, Phil Pilcher, David Timmcke, Amy Nickel, and Tito Cevallos. Malandrino formed around the summer of 2016 after a trip by Rozman to Rio. Rozman fell in love with Bossa Nova and teamed up with Thompson while still playing for the Screw City Swingers.

The members discussed the differences between playing jazz and Bossa Nova, their combined love for the Bossa Nova genre, and why it’s special to them. They also discuss some of their favorite Bossa Nova artists and why the artists are legends in the world of Samba and Bossa Nova.

After a fascinating talk about musicianship and playing different types of music and instruments, we were treated to a mini concert by the group. Some of their songs will be peppered throughout the Artist Spotlight program featuring Malandrino airing on January 15th at 7:00 AM and re-broadcast on January 16th at 6:00 PM. They will also be performing at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center on January 23rd at 3:00 pm.

Jazz for the Holidays on Performance

On December 2, 2018, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center invited a quintet of talented local musicians to play a special holiday show on the Starr Center stage. “Jazz for the Holidays” comprised a wide assortment of Christmas music arranged for their easy jazz style.

The group included Emily Austin and Dianna Cole as featured vocalists. Tim Austin played drums, Carl Cole played piano, and Andrew Cole was on bass.

The show was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the December 20th episode of Performance.

Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

Lydia Bruhn Concert on Performance

On December 2, 2019, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center invited local musician Lydia Bruhn to play an intimate concert at Emerson House. Lydia Bruhn has a master’s degree in horn performance and has played with a number of ensembles and orchestras around the region. In the small space of Emerson House, Lydia was accompanied by pianist Lisa Miller and her husband Andrew Bruhn on trumpet.

The concert was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the December 13th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

A Shining Night of Barber on Performance

Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981) was an American composer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for music twice: for his opera Vanessa (1957), and for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1962). Adagio for Strings has been called “the saddest classical work” and was played following the deaths of Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. On November 1, 2019, Rulee Stallmann organized a concert for the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, featuring local musicians playing a selection of Barber’s repertoire on the Main Stage.

Rulee began the concert accompanying soprano Sarah Simmons as she sang “Sure on this Shining Night”. Matt Guschl performed Canzonette for Oboe and Strings Op. 48. A string quartet made up of Rachel Handlin and Paul Zafir on violin, Betty Lewis on viola, and Michael Beert on cello accompanied bass-baritone Joel Ross for “Dover Beach Op. 3”.

The second half of the concert featured a choral version of “Sure on this Shining Night” with sopranos Rachel Handlin and Sarah Simmons, altos Debra Dew and Margo Stedman, tenors Tim Anderson and Joe Sweeney, and bass singers Timm Adams and Joel Ross. Joel Ross and Rulee Stallmann combined their talents on one piano keyboard to play elements from “Souvenirs: Ballet Suite Op. 28”.

Probably the highlight was a complete performance of Barber’s opera “A Hand of Bridge”. The opera clocks in at around nine minutes long and featured Rulee on piano while Timm Adams, Tim Anderson, Sarah Simmons, and Margo Stedman played cards and sang of delights and regrets. Finally, cellist Mike Beert returned to the stage to play a solo version of “Sure on this Shining Night”.

The concert was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the August 2nd episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

LADAMA Featured on Artist Spotlight

LADAMA is a band made up of four women from four different countries.  Lara Klaus is from Recife, Brazil, Daniela Serna is from Bogota, Colombia, Maria Fernanda Gonzales is from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and Sara Lucas is based in New York City in the United States.  They began working together when they met as part of the OneBeat Program.  Their debut record – LADAMA – went to number one on the iTunes and Amazon Latin Music charts.

The members of LADAMA spoke with Bob Francis for the Artist Spotlight program.  They discussed their music, along with their goals to empower women and young people around the world through music-based workshops.  The LADAMA episode will air Saturday, August 1 at 7:00 am with a rebroadcast on Sunday evening, August 2 at 6:00 pm.

LADAMA performed on the Main Stage of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center on Friday night, November 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm.  The concert was recorded in full for an upcoming episode of Performance.

Interested in staying up to date on featured musicians on Artist Spotlight? Fill out this form to stay in touch.

Little Big Band on Performance

The Little Big Band is a seven piece group from Rockford. The band consists of Cary Sheley (trombone), Ken Stein (tenor saxophone), Randy Schneeberger (trumpet), Ken Kilian (baritone saxophone), Tom Stein (piano), Guy Fiorenza (bass), and Dave Sterner (drums). On May 19th, 2019, the Little Big Band closed out the 2019 MPAC season with a concert at the Starr Center featuring mid-century jazz from the likes of Miles Davis, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

The concert was recorded in its entirety, and will be aired on the July 5th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

WBOM Moves to New Studio

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two months of the MPAC season were canceled, and financial pressures forced the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center to put two of its buildings up for sale.  One of the buildings was 406 N. Main Street, where the WBOM studios were located. 

Over the last two months, WBOM has been moving to its new studio located in the Starr Center (415 N. Church Street).  The move has been difficult – both physically and emotionally – but it is now complete.  The new studio is now up and running.

WBOM began at 406 N. Main Street as a pair of empty rooms.  It completed its run there as four studios, filled with equipment and many, many memories.  The new studio – named “Studio V” to celebrate and continue the legacy from the old building – has the equipment now.  New memories will be forthcoming.

David Kalhous Featured on Performance

David Kalhous is an acclaimed pianist. On April 12, 2019, he played a concert on the Main Stage at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. He began the program with material from Beethoven and Czech Composer Leos Janacek. However the bulk of the concert featured works by Chopin. He played four pieces by Chopin during the main program and then performed two additional Chopin works as an encore.

The show was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the June 7th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

Pangelic Duo Interviewed for Artist Spotlight

Harpist Faye Seeman and steelpan virtuoso Liam Teague make up the Pangelic Duo. They sat down with Bob Francis to talk about their unique musical partnership for the Artist Spotlight program.

Artist Spotlight features an interview with a musician or group and includes a deep-dive into their music. The Pangelic Duo episode of Artist Spotlight will air Saturday, May 9, at 7:00 am with a rebroadcast on Sunday evening, May 10 at 6:00 pm.

The Pangelic Duo will perform on the Main Stage of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center on Friday night, May 15, at 7:30 pm. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets for the show.

Interested in staying up to date on featured musicians on Artist Spotlight? Fill out this form to stay in touch.