classical music

Where the World Cup & Classical Meet

Classical Music and Football: The First XI
How has soccer… ahem, football… inspired classical composers? From a football chant by Edward Elgar to a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich about the sport, the Guardian’s Music Blog reveals how football has left its mark on classical music.

Quiz: Composer or Footballer?
Can you guess whether the subject is a classical composer or a World Cup footballer by name alone? It may not be as easy as you think.

Placido Domingo To Sing Before World Cup Final
He’s sung before a World Cup final five times already. On July 11, Placido Domingo will make it six.

World Cup 2014: What Makes a Great National Anthem?
Some anthems we love. Some anthems we don’t. Some we really don’t. Anthems can be so polarizing a topic that composer and cellist Phillip Sheppard received death threats after contributing to a 2012 article about the worst national anthems. In this article, the BBC poses the question: what makes an anthem great?

 And here’s an inspired idea from Twitter:

Classical Music During World Cup
Brilliant. And may we offer a classical suggestion for your World Cup-watching pleasure? 24/7 classical music streaming from WDAV.

WDAV Gets into Holiday Spirit

The holiday season is a great time to be a part of WDAV, whether you’re on the staff like me or you’re a listener and supporter. First, there’s the wonderful seasonal music. As usual, we will increase the holiday selections as we get deeper into December, and let the holiday feeling linger a little longer by continuing to play Christmas music until the 31st.

There are wonderful special programs we look forward to every year, some of which we produce ourselves. This year we continue our collaboration with St. John’s Baptist Church for another live broadcast of Charlotte Lessons and Carols from St. John’s at noon on December 7th, which we’ll repeat twice more later in the month. Our special guests this year are the choral group Renaissance led by Robert Pritchard and the Wingate University Singers under the direction of Kenney Potter, plus the Ballantyne Brass Quintet. I hope you’ll plan to join us either in the warmth of the St. John’s sanctuary or on the radio.

Many international listener favorites are returning as well, including live broadcasts from King’s College in Cambridge, England and the perennially popular New Year’s Day concert from Vienna.

It all makes for a festive way to bring the year to an end, and to reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish, and what we have in store for the New Year: on air, online and out in the community.

None of it is possible without the support of devoted listeners who become members. So in the spirit of gratitude and optimism that is so appropriate at this time of year, we say thanks to you, and invite you to continue the musical journey with us on into the New Year.

Wishing you all the warmth of the season,

Frank Dominguez
Interim General Manager

***Make sure you check out for details on our upcoming Holiday Programming


Students Tour the WDAV Studio

Clara H. Jones Summer Institute student

By: Kali Blevins, WDAV Fellow

 On Friday, July 6, WDAV opened its doors to some special guests. Invited by board member Andrew Adair to tour the station, thirty-eight ten to fourteen-year-olds from the Clara H. Jones Summer Institute – a six-week program that focuses on improving fine arts skills as well as increasing reading, math, and science competency – filed into our conference room in matching turquois T-shirts. After a brief introduction by General Manager Scott Nolan, the group split in half – the boys starting with a presentation on radio and classical music while the girls explored the station. With most of the WDAV staff off at Brevard Music Center to record performances for our SummerStages program, this visit brought welcome activity to what would have been an oddly quiet Friday morning. And we were ready to record this excitement in every form of media possible. You can hear New Media Assistant George Marshall’s audio adventures with the kids here.

With pen and paper in hand – someone had to do some old school reporting – I tagged along with the seventh and eighth-grade girls on a tour led by WDAV staff member Sarah Demarest. Our first stop was the Music Library, which houses thousands upon thousands of CDs. “Does anyone have this many CDs at home?” Sarah asked as the group gazed at the station’s music collection. Then Sarah joked, “Does this age still know what CDs are?” She does make a good point. Even here at WDAV, we are almost entirely digitalized; our Music Library exists only for backup. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

Students look at pictures of previous WDAV special guests

Our next stop was a soundproof editing/production studio. One student tried her hand at opening the studio door, a task harder than it looks. After putting her full weight on the door (and using her foot for some extra leverage), she was able to release the airtight seal, and the door opened. We filed into the room as Sarah began to explain a bit about the audio editing process. The girls listened, wide-eyed and curious.

“This is the same kind of soundboard you would use if you were a producer making music,” added one of the Institute’s chaperones when Sarah had finished speaking. “So, if you saw Let it Shine [the latest Disney Channel original movie] and saw him working, this is the same kind of thing.” The room filled with an animated chorus of “ohhhh.” In an inspiring moment of teaching, the chaperone made a connection the girls could easily understand. Suddenly, the world of classical music no longer seemed so far removed from that of pop music.

Michael Muchane performing for the students

Moments later, my tour group met the fifth and sixth-grade girls – they had been doing the same tour backwards – in front of the performance studio. Patiently waiting at the studio’s piano was rising tenth-grader Michael Muchane. Michael has been playing the piano since age seven. He has competed in local and state competitions, performed large scale recitals, won several awards, and has volunteered his time to play in churches and nursing homes. And luckily for us, he was prepared to give a quick concert. Hear Michael play his three pieces by clicking the links below.

Sonata in D Major by Joseph Haydn
Scotch Poem by Edward MacDowell
The Harp Prelude by Sergei Prokofiev

We had one more stop left on our tour of the radio station: the broadcast studio. Unfortunately, we had no live announcers around – meaning no opportunity to see the red “on air” sign light up – but the discussion of how the automation system runs the station sparked some discussion. One student asked a question that has likely been on every radio listener’s mind: “What if someone messes up? Can they stop it or redo it?” The short answer is no. Live announcers don’t get a second go-around. Despite the five-second delay in the radio transmission, as Sarah put it, “what [the announcers] say is for everyone to hear.”

Student examines the sound board in the broadcast studio

With the tour complete, I followed the girls into the conference room from which the boys had just emerged. Once all twenty-some girls had settled into their chairs, Peter Browne, a WDAV board member, began his presentation, which was complete with props and a PowerPoint. Peter started by ringing a hotel desk-sized bell.

.  The group then climbed back on to their bus, collected their complimentary bags of WDAV goodies, and drove back home to Charlotte.

My tour group with Michael in the Clark Performance Studio at WDAV

*Interested in having your students tour the WDAV studio?                                        Give us a call at (877)333-8990.

Follow Our Weekend Program Changes!

UPDATED September 9, 2011 — We’re shaking up the weekends on WDAV, starting September 1st! New hosts, new times, new days — update your listening calendar here!

7-9 p.m. Carolina Live – Our popular co-production with South Carolina Public Radio moves to Friday nights!

12 mid.-5 a.m. The Early Shift with Lauren Rico
5-7 a.m. The Morning Air with Lauren Rico – we add two more hours of Lauren Rico on Saturdays and Sundays!
7 a.m. -12 noon Classical Music with Mike McKay
8:06 a.m. – Classics for Kids
12 noon-3 p.m. Classical Music with Sam Van Hallgren
3-6 p.m. Classical Music with Candice Agree – New York City radio veteran Candice Agree takes on a WDAV slot of her own.
6-10 p.m. NPR World of Opera
10 p.m. – 12 mid. Concierto

12 mid.-5 a.m. The Early Shift with Lauren Rico
5-7 a.m. The Morning Air with Lauren Rico – we add two more hours of Lauren Rico on Saturdays and Sundays!
7-11 a.m. Biscuits and Bach
11 a.m. – Noon  Davidson College Presbyterian Church Service
Noon-3 p.m. Classical Music with Myelita Melton – Long-time WDAV staffer Myelita Melton takes over Sunday afternoon music hosting duties.
3-5 p.m.  Classical Music with Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr – Jeffrey’s Sunday afternoon spot now shifts from 3 to 5 PM.
5-6 p.m. From the Top – It’s a new day and time for this NPR show that celebrates the energy of America’s kids and the power of classical music!
6-7 p.m. Choral Showcase – same day and time, new personnel! Former WDAV Program Director (and Davidson musician) Theresa Woody takes over as producer and host of Choral Showcase.
7-8 p.m. Pipedreams – same start time but one hour now instead of two.
8 p.m. – 12 mid. Sunday Evening with Tom Burge – CSO trombonist Tom Burge picks up another hour on Sunday evenings, sharing his musical favorites with trademark Aussie charm.

Thank You For Your Support!

On Thursday, March 10th, WDAV wrapped up its Spring 2011 Membership Campaign – 9 hours earlier than expected and more than $11,000 over goal! Thank you to all the volunteers who answered phones. To all the restaurants who donated meals. To all the guests who joined us on-the-air. And to the 1,403 people who are investing more than $196,000 to lend their support to WDAV and classical public radio in this region.


WDAV to Broadcast Christ Church Cathedral Choir Concert Mar 29

Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Oxford, England, begins its 2011 USA/Canada concert tour with first-ever appearances in the Carolinas. On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, the choir performs at Charlotte’s Covenant Presbyterian Church, and WDAV Classical Public Radio will be on-hand to present a live broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m. The next evening, Christ Church Cathedral Choir performs at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, NC. From recordings of these two Charlotte-area concerts, WDAV will produce an Eastertide choral program, to be made available to public radio stations across the country. You can find out more about it at our Eastertide with Christ Church Cathedral Choir page.


Your First Classical Love

What was your first classical love – that first piece of music that “lit your fire” for classical music? Several WDAV staffers share their funny-wacky-touching classical love stories below. Take a listen, and then let us know YOUR first classical love using this form – or by posting your story on the WDAV Facebook page!