The American Sound

Saturdays at 6pm and Tuesdays at 7pm

The American Sound showcases a variety of the most beautiful, inspiring classical music with an American accent.

Each week we’ll explore masterworks by great American composers past and present like Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, and contemporaries Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty and John Adams.

Plus, we’ll go back to our American roots with George Gershwin’s jazz-inspired music, performances by America’s bluegrass greats and more. Think Bernstein with the Boston Symphony or Bach on a banjo!

Ways to Connect

color photo of local composer Richard Jordan Smoot sitting at the piano
Joy Kollmer / richardsmoot.com

It’s always exciting when a project comes to fruition. And when that project has both local and international ties, it becomes especially cool.

This week The American Sound is proud to feature Seize the Day, the brand-new album of music by Columbus composer Richard Jordan Smoot, with performances by the Carpe Diem String Quartet, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman and other artists.

An eagle bone whistle. A sacred rattle. A singing turtle. A “love flute.”

These are just a few of the ancient Native American instruments showcased in Anthem for the Ancestors, a new work for string quartet, Native American instruments, narrator and multimedia visual effects composed by Carpe Diem String Quartet violinist Charles Wetherbee and Native American performer and composer Leon Joseph Littlebird.

color photo of a banquet scene form the opera JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek
Marty Sohl / Fort Worth Opera

It would be difficult to name an individual who occupies a more exalted place in the American collective memory than John F. Kennedy. The former U.S. president has been idolized as an American war hero, a pedigreed New Englander, a dashing family man and an architect of progressive social ideals.

But instead of holding to this larger-than-life image of Kennedy, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, composer and librettist, respectively, for their opera JFK, wanted to portray the human side of Jack and Jackie.

black-and-white photo of President John F. Kennedy
White House Press Office / Wikimedia Commons

Like many Americans who were alive on Nov. 22, 1963, noted historian Michael J. Hogan remembers vividly the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

color photo of Vireo performers in Alcatraz cell block
David Soderland / operavireo.org

It’s an opera about a woman imprisoned by psychological demons. It was filmed at Alcatraz. And, if all that isn't cool enough, later this month you’ll be able to watch it in 15-minute episodes on your mobile device, computer or TV.

requiemformymother.com

Veteran Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards has seen a lot of drama, death and destruction on the silver screen but, until his mother passed away, he had experienced very little of it in his own life.

“I was kind of left not knowing what to do with myself,” Edwards said in a recent phone interview. "It was a feeling of helplessness, like I couldn’t do anything to bring her back, and I couldn’t do anything to help her."

color photo of Jeannette Sorrell leading Apollo's Fire from the harpsichord
apollosfire.org

Jeannette Sorrell, founder and artistic director of the Cleveland-based period-instrument orchestra Apollo's Fire, is one of the world's foremost conductors and interpreters of baroque music. But she's also much more than that.

"I am an entrepreneur as an artist," Sorrell said in a phone interview. "I think Mozart and Handel were also entrepreneurs, and that’s OK. It forces you to make sure that your artistic work is accessible to the public and will draw an audience."

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire are making available their performance of Bach’s St. John Passion for you to enjoy Good Friday evening, 7 p.m. April 14 on Classical 101.

color photo of David Thomas playing his clarinet
David Thomas

Wednesday evening, two of Columbus’ own will perform the world premiere of 10 new musical masterpieces—and Columbus gets to see and hear it first.

In a concert called “Jeanjean on the Rocks,” David Thomas, principal clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Mariko Kaneda will play 10 of French composer Paul Jeanjean’s 18 Études de Perfectionnement (1927) for clarinet with brand-new piano accompaniments commissioned by Thomas and composed by Philadelphia-based composer Joseph Hallman.

color photo of the members of Monarch Brass standing outdoors and holding their instruments
Jan Duga / myiwbc.org

“The monarch butterfly is fragile and yet can fly 2,000 miles to get from point A to point B,” said Susan Slaughter, former principal trumpeter with the St. Louis Symphony, in a recent phone interview. “It’s beautiful to look at, and the sound that we want to make is a beautiful sound.”

As the first woman ever appointed principal trumpet in a major American orchestra, Slaughter knows all too well how far point A can be from point B for many aspiring professional women brass musicians. She founded the International Women’s Brass Conference and Monarch Brass to help women brass instrumentalists on their sometimes treacherous journeys in the profession.

color photo of the members of Genghis Barbie with their horns
Spencer Lloyd / genghisbarbie.com

It’s 2009, and the Great Recession is draining bank accounts and devouring dreams everywhere. In New York City, four freelance French horn players suddenly find themselves out of work and wondering what to do next.

“It kind of came to me in this random moment—I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we have to have a horn quartet with these four people and play pop music.’” 

color photo of the feet of the members of Stiletto Brass - all in red high-heeled shoes
stilettobrass.com

"I think there are some assumptions about the ability of a female brass player versus a male brass player," said Stiletto Brass Quintet hornist Misty Tolle, in a recent phone interview, "and that when you walk in as a woman, part of what you walk in with is this knowledge that you have to be that much better than the person that you’re competing against if they are a man."

Assumptions like this one are what the all-female Stiletto Brass Quintet is helping to dispel by simply existing—by being a professional women’s brass ensemble that reaches school-age and adult audiences with music ranging from classical to jazz and beyond.

color photo of the members of Seraph Brass dressed up and sitting with their instruments on a sofa
seraphbrass.com

“How cool would it be to have an all-female brass group that’s touring? And imagine young musicians seeing that on the stage.”

That’s the question that inspired trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden to start the all-women’s brass ensemble Seraph Brass.

Classical 101 went to the picture shows Thursday morning with brand-new music written by a Central Ohio composer for a classic Charlie Chaplin film.

black-and-white still photo of Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp and sitting on a snowy landscape in The Gold Rush
Flickr

There might not be a lot of chatter in Charlie Chaplin’s films, but there’s certainly a lot of chatter about them—at least in this neck of the woods. Thursday morning, some of that Chaplin chatter will be on Classical 101. 

Liberace with candelabras
Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

As the saying goes, laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.

And — hello? — who wants to cry alone?

color photo of severl yellow metal ballot boxes stacked on top of each other
Keith Bacongco/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kitoy/1597912606/in/photolist-3rcHKm-5ziqP6-rP2gM-5uxGEu-5x1T6X-5zuKiW-7dcgvZ-rMpQF-fLia6J-j6dUHb-cCyNDb-5A4jmj-CwtyM-rRgtw-rMpRX-9oXneQ-5VmNpy-zHqerj-5urX6M-5mhUsr-8QbzPP-4mmorw-5utjB6-5wo7eE-5zKnjG-6DxhSz-rP21c-bpfGP4-dfdR-

You’ve read the headlines, heard the great radio news reports on WOSU 89.7 NPR News, watched the debates (don’t remind me) and, having seen and heard enough about Election 2016, you’ve cast your vote.

So, what will you do with your Tuesday evening, now that all is said and done for another four years? 

color photo taken from behind the musicians of the Dublin Win Symphony during a rehearsal
Erica Wood / Dublin Wind Symphony

Ask composer Dr. Nicole Piunno how she would describe her new work Eternity in an Hour, and one particular word comes up again and again: joy.

“There’s a lot of joy in the piece,” Piunno said in a recent phone interview. “It starts with joy and it ends with joy.”

Wikipedia

Whether you're in the mood for some Handel or feeling more like Stravinsky's Firebird would light up your day, Classical 101 has something for everyone each week. Daily programming such as The Amadeus Deli provide the staples— the meat and potatoes of Classical repertoire— while special evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound add a little spice to the musical palette. 

Wikipedia

Classical 101 brings you the very best music from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods while our local hosts add interesting facts and tid-bits along the way. Here's what's in store for the week of October 2nd through 8th:

Wikipedia

Whether you're in the mood for some Handel or feeling more like Stravinsky's Firebird would light up your day, Classical 101 has something for everyone each week. Daily programming such as The Amadeus Deli provide the staples— the meat and potatoes of Classical repertoire— while special evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound add a little spice to the musical palette. 

Be sure to tune in each week, and don't forget to submit your favorite pieces to By Request for Friday afternoons!

Wikipedia

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, and we've got the playlists to prove it. Whether you adventure through the sounds of the United States with Jennifer Hambrick's The American Sound, or join Christopher Purdy for music made by musicians you might even see at your local grocery store with Music in Mid-Ohio; there's something on-air for everyone. Check out what's in store for this week!

black-and-white photo of flutist jacqueline Cordova-Arrington, violist Matthew Lipman and harpist Bridget Kibbey performing in the Classical 101 studio
Siwoo Kim/VIVO Music Festival

About this time last year, the first-ever VIVO Music Festival took place in Columbus, featuring Columbus-raised classical musicians now at the cusp of promising performing careers. To mark the return of the VIVO Music Festival to Columbus (Aug. 31-Sept. 4), some of the festival’s musicians joined me in the Classical 101 studios earlier this week to give us a preview of this year’s festival.

In case you missed that exclusive live performance on Classical 101, here's your chance to sample the 2016 VIVO Music Festival.

Wikipedia

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, and we've got the playlists to prove it. Whether you adventure through the sounds of the United States with Jennifer Hambrick's The American Sound, or join Christopher Purdy for music made by musicians you might even see at your local grocery store with Music in Mid-Ohio; there's something on-air for everyone. Check out what's in store for this week!

color photograph of Bridget Kibbey wearing black sitting at her harp
publicity photo / http://www.bridgetkibbey.com/#photos

It’s one of those great ironies that international harp soloist Bridget Kibbey might not be the rising star she is today had she not grown up in Ohio.

Wikipedia

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, and we've got the playlists to prove it. Whether you adventure through the sounds of the United States with Jennifer Hambrick's The American Sound, or join Christopher Purdy for music made by musicians you might even see at your local grocery store with Music in Mid-Ohio; there's something on-air for everyone. Check out what's in store for this week!

publicity photo / http://www.johnstulz.com/info.html

After all of the featured performers of this year’s VIVO Music Festival arrive in Columbus later this month – after the performance venues have thrown open their doors, the tickets have been bought and the audiences have gathered – violist, composer and VIVO Music Festival co-artistic director John Stulz won’t be there.

At least, not in the traditional sense.

Wikipedia

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, and we've got the playlists to prove it. Whether you adventure through the sounds of the United States with Jennifer Hambrick's The American Sound, or join Christopher Purdy for music made by musicians you might even see at your local grocery store with Music in Mid-Ohio; there's something on-air for everyone. Check out what's in store for this week!

photo of the curved palm of a left hand in chiarosuro lighting
Andreas Levers / Creative Commons/Flickr

Charlemagne did it. So did Jimi Hendrix, Cary Grant and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

What, exactly, did these wildly disparate souls have in common?

They all wrote with their left hands.

Of course, lefties have been around since the proverbial cavemen and -women drew left-handed on cave walls. But to an avowed righty like me, southpaws still carry a certain mystique. What marvel of genetics makes 10 percent of the population use their left hands, instead of their right, to reach for cookies in the cookie jar, pie in the sky and jam on the lower shelf?

The Metropolitan Opera

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, and we've got the playlists to prove it. Whether you adventure through the sounds of the United States with Jennifer Hambrick's The American Sound, or join Christopher Purdy for music made by musicians you might even see at your local grocery store with Music in Mid-Ohio; there's something on-air for everyone. Check out what's in store for this week!

The Metropolitan Opera

Classical 101 has insightful musical programming 24-hours a day, every day. So, tune in for weekend selections like Music in Mid-Ohio to hear musicians from our community, or check out the weekday evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound to hear the best music for guitar with John Rittmeyer, or Jennifer Hambrick's take on American composition.

Whether it's Classical, Baroque, Modern or Romantic; on Classical 101, it's bound to be a classic.

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