Finding Proponents for Contemporary Music in Unlikely Places

Throughout the middle ages, the Catholic Church controlled the development of music throughout Europe, much of what became the great works of classical music’s standard repertoire were directly influenced by the church’s persuasion. It wielded the sort of control that only a handful of powerful organizations have exercised over recorded time; it controlled what people thought. Over time, that power waned but the church remains steeped in tradition. As such, you wouldn’t expect that one of the church’s enduring leaders, Pope John Paul II, would have a passion for contemporary classical music, … Continue Reading

No Matter How Much Things Change, They Stay The Same

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, or so goes the old saying. As such, in order to divine where classical music is headed it’s wise to examine the past. Fortunately, there was an active culture of music discussion at the early part of the last century in the form of journals and magazines dedicated to specific interests. One such outlet for this discussion was a magazine entitled The Etude, a monthly journal for the musician, the music student, and all music lovers. Theodore Presser began publishing … Continue Reading

Remembering Karl Haas

Long before orchestras began to invest in outreach programs, musician Karl Haas began reaching out over the radio airwaves to introduce everything that’s wonderful about classical music to millions of new listeners. Dr. Haas began hosting Adventures in Good Music in 1959, less than a year after Leonard Bernstein began his Young People’s Concerts. During those 45 years, Karl reached millions of listeners over hundreds of radio stations worldwide. Adventures in Good Music was a radio program with a simple format; Karl talked about the music and played examples to illustrate his … Continue Reading

An Interview with Patrick Sheridan, Tuba Soloist

Even if you’re a hard core classical music enthusiast, you probably haven’t spent very much time thinking about one of the more unusual of St. Cecilia’s servants; the tuba. The tuba didn’t even come into being as an instrument until around 150 years ago and since that time has evolved considerably; the photo below depicts only a few of the many variety of contemporary tuba designs. It serves as the bass voice for an entire ensemble, orchestras and bands, but it has been steadily growing in popularity among professional musicians and throughout … Continue Reading

Preparing For A Rockettes Attack

The winter holiday season has traditionally been a cash cow for live performing arts organizations. Productions such as The Nutcracker pack large concert halls with patrons willing to spend money on tickets for a production they’ve likely seen a number of times before. However, times are changing and big budget productions that were traditionally available only in New York City are starting to hit the road. Such is the case with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show, which bills itself as “America’s most beloved holiday theatrical”. The RCCS began to set up … Continue Reading