Choral Music on the Radio

I just heard about a new choral radio program, Re-Choired Listening, and I thought I’d post a list of all the choral radio programs I know about. If you know of a program that I’ve missed please let me know and I will add them. These are in no particular order!

  • Choral Music Radio Programs
  • Choral Arts Classics is hosted by Tom Hall, who is the Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and it airs at 9pm on the last Tuesday of each month between September and April.

    The Choral Tradition is hosted by Curt Snook on Iowa Public Radio and it airs Sundays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    Re-Choired Listening with Saint Louis Chamber Chorus’s artistic director Philip Barnes
    KIHT, Wednesdays, 7 pm, also on their HD2 channel 96.3.

    Great Sacred Music, Sundays from 8 to 11 am EST with Rob Kennedy on WCPE.

    Choral Mix with choral conductor, professor and organist Kent Tritle
    WQXR, Sundays, 7am and 11am.

    Choral Initiative/ A 24/7 choral stream
    Minnesota Public Radio.

    Choral Showcase programmed by Classical WETA Music Director David Ginder
    WETA, Sundays, 9pm. They also have an online station called Viva la Voce

    The Sacred Concert with director of the American Bach Soloists Jeffrey Thomas
    KDFC, Sundays, 7 – 9am.

    Choral Showcase with classical musician Theresa Woody
    WDAV, Saturdays at 5:00 p.m.

    Inspired Voices with Lexington Bach Choir bass Rick Dirksen
    WEKU, Sundays at noon, repeated at 8:00 pm on WKYL.

    The Choral Channel in partnership with Chorus America
    This is a 24 hour online stream.

    Sounds Choral, hosted by Marjorie Herman, on WWFM, the Classical Network, can be heard a number of ways, outlined here.


    The Empire State Building peeking up behind the wreckage of the former St. Vincent’s hospital at 11th Street and 7th Avenue.

    Empire State Building, New York City

    25 Miles to Go

    I swim in a city pool and they have this thing where you’ll win a tshirt if you swim 25 miles in eight weeks. I thought it was 24 and I’m quite put out about this extra mile, but I’m still in. I want that tshirt. And I hope it says on the front, “Give me a million dollars because I just swam 25 miles, damnit.” The back should read, “And cake. Again, because 25 miles.”

    This is the pool where I swim, the former Carmine Street pool, now the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center. According to the people running the contest a mile is 112 laps in this pool. I did the math and it’s really 105.6, but they didn’t want to listen to me so 112 it is.

    By the way, can I just say I don’t think most people “do the math” in life. Because if they did they wouldn’t be signing up for a lot of these insurance programs that are out there, for instance. I’m looking at you, dental insurance companies.

    Tony Dapolito Recreation Center pool

    The Chatham Street Chapel Riot or A 179 Year Old Article Sounds Modern

    Last night I was watching a Livestream of the demonstration here in response to George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict. There were two simultaneous chat streams, one civil, and the other ugly and racist. I went back and forth reading the two entirely different takes on what had happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed, and what was happening last night. I can see how reasonable people disagree, but at least one side was not reasonable. They might say the other side wasn’t either.

    It reminded of the trouble I had researching one of the darker chapters in my book. There was a riot in the Chatham Street Chapel in downtown New York on July 7, 1834. A mostly black congregation had originally gathered in the chapel on July 4th to celebrate Emancipation Day, the day when slavery was outlawed in New York in 1827. But a mob had interrupted and prevented their service and they had reconvened on the 7th. There was a misunderstanding about who had the space for the night and a riot ensued.

    I tell the whole story in my book, but what I want to talk about was my challenge in figuring out what had happened that night. Every newspaper account I read depended on the paper’s stand on abolition. If they were anti-abolition, the blacks were the aggressors, if they were for the abolition of slavery the white mob had started it.

    Chatham Street Riot Article, July 7, 1834
    Here is an anti-abolition account. (Sorry for the tiny print.) It’s insane because even though they get some of the facts right, that the blacks had arranged and paid for the use of the space, well, you’ll see. The “colored man named Hughes,” identified as if he was some insignificant personage, was Benjamin F. Hughes, the principal of African Free School No. 3.

    The only people arrested that night were four young black men. Thanks to the amazing Municipal Archives I was able to find the original arrest records—this is particularly astounding since this was before we had the official New York Police Department we have today—and the names of the young men who were arrested.

    Even more astounding, one of the men arrested, Samuel R. Ward, was so upset at the injustice of what had happened, he immediately set about educating himself and he spent the rest of his life lecturing around the country against slavery (sometimes with Frederick Douglass). And he wrote about the events of that night much later in his life, when he retired. There’s even a note of humor in his account, when he points out that the only person who suffered a true physical injury that night was the white man in charge of the mob, who hurt himself jumping out a window fleeing from what he had started.

    I wasn’t there the night Trayvon Martin was killed, and neither were any of the people talking about it last night. And all the witnesses to the riot on July 7, 1834 are long dead. In my book I wrote down the three versions I found and left it to the reader to decide. But it’s clear where I stand. If there were a trial today I’d go with Samuel R. Ward’s version.

    The Chatham Street Chapel was torn down and on the site today is, of all things, a prison. I was not allowed to walk up and take a picture of the plaque commemorating the site of the Chapel. So I went up to the plaza in front of One Police Plaza, walked past the benches and hedges, leaned over and took this shot.

    Side note: the guards who wouldn’t let me walk over and take the picture insisted that they’d worked there for decades and there wasn’t a plaque anywhere about any chapel.

    July 23rd Book Presentation at the Observatory

    On July 23rd at 8pm I’m going to be giving a presentation about the History and Science of Group Singing at the Observatory in Brooklyn ($5 admission). I’ve been working very hard collecting photographs and putting together choice facts and stories, so please come see me! It’s a very interesting place so I’d come a little early so you can look around and explore before the presentation.

    Someone uploaded screenshots from Virtual Choir 4 to Facebook and miracle of miracles, I found myself. I am third from the left, top row.

    Virtual Choir 4, Eric Whitacre

    I Wanna Be Sedated by Stacy Horn

    I was so anxious about my radio appearances today I swam a mile in the evening, all in an effort to exhaust myself. Now I feel like swimming another mile to decompress.

    The picture below was my view from my first interview on WPR’s show 45 North with guest host Cynthia Schuster. I was nervous about that one because I was going to be on for a FULL HOUR. But Cynthia kept things moving, and helped me make all the points I wanted to make, and as usual, I loved the callers.

    After that I walked over to a different studio on the same floor to talk to the always wonderful Brian Lehrer. I think we’re all in agreement that Brian Lehrer is the most gifted interviewer and I’m not just saying that because he was kind enough to let me on his show (although I would do something like that except he really is that good and you all know it’s true!).

    Damnit. I meant to thank him for getting me through Hurricane Sandy. I bought a battery operated radio after 9/11 and that radio and Brian Lehrer kept me emotionally alive. We were without power for a week and I curled up and listened to Brian and his callers and felt so much calmer. I would have felt so alone and cut-off otherwise.

    WNYC Radio Studio, New York City