The University of Illinois School of Music boasts a stellar performing faculty, as well as numerous student ensemble coached by faculty members. Semester’s end always brings multiple opportunities to see and hear some fine performances, most of them free or inexpensive. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” we’ll learn about concerts by the UI percussion and horn ensembles, both happening Thursday in Urbana.
Live and Local
Weekdays from 4 to 5 p.m. on FM 90.9
Live and Local keeps you informed about local performances by musicians both local and national, with occasional coverage of theater and dance. The program features conversations with the artists and a healthy sampling of their music, frequently played live in our studio. You'll hear features on the many performing groups throughout our listening area, a daily calendar of performing arts events and recordings by local and visiting musicians in all acoustic genres.
Help us spread the word about your own performance event! We'd appreciate any material you have available: a season brochure, press releases and public service announcements, along with names and contact information for key people. Please send information to host Kevin Kelly.
See our collection of Live and Local Video Archives.
It’s difficult to believe that Monty Python’s Flying Circus ran originally for only five years, from 1969 to 1974. The troupe’s best-known film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, followed in 1975, and I remember kids in high school endlessly repeating lines from the movie. Many of those lines are preserved in the Tony-winning musical Monty Python’s Spamalot, the next show at Parkland Theatre in Champaign. We’ll have a live preview on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
One hundred years ago this coming October, five women in Champaign-Urbana gathered together another twenty-six women to form what came to be called the Tuesday Morning Musical Club. Their mission? “To advance the interests and promote the culture of musical arts in the community and the mutual improvement of its members.” Current members of the club will play for us live on the Monday edition of “Live and Local,” and we’ll hear the group’s full history.
For a guy who has played villainous characters in films like Total Recall and Robocop and the TV show Stargate, Ronny Cox sure seems like an awfully nice guy—and a fine lifelong musician. In fact, he says that while he loves acting, he doesn’t love it as much as music, “because of the personal connection you can make through music.” Ronny Cox and his band will play a house concert in Urbana Friday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
“The pipes,” “a set of pipes,” “a stand of pipes”—all refer to the bagpipe, which exists in many forms. Without doubt the most commonly called to mind is the Great Highland bagpipe native to Scotland since around the 15th century. While best known for its role in pipe bands, the Highland pipe can also be a solo instrument and, as such, will be played by Paul Hinson at a noon-time concert in Champaign on Friday. I’ll talk with Paul on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Fifth Annual DoCha Chamber Music Festival happens this weekend in downtown Champaign, with free concerts by world-class artists and some fun programs for children. I’ll talk with festival co-organizer Stefan Milenkovich on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” And, live in our studio, we’ll hear a preview of Thursday’s early music recital by faculty members at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
Béla Fleck does far more than play the banjo. He has extended the banjo far beyond folk and bluegrass, insinuating the instrument into jazz, African, classical music and much more. He’ll play his own Banjo Concerto with the Peoria Symphony on Saturday, and he’ll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” Also, live in our studio, we’ll have a preview of Sunday’s recital in Urbana by violist Lydia Tang.
Chinese-born virtuoso musician Wu Man plays the pipa, a lute-like instrument with a history of more than two thousand years. While preserving its musical traditions, she works to develop a place for her instrument in all art forms. She’ll solo with the Illinois Symphony next weekend, and she’ll be my guest on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll talk also with Southern Illinois singer-songwriter Wil Maring, who will play in Urbana next Sunday.
You could be forgiven if you’ve never heard of the tiny Central Asian republic of Tuva. There’s a slightly better possibility that you’ve heard of something called Tuvan throat singing, in which the singer can produce two, three, even sometimes four pitches at the same time. The Alash Ensemble, a band of master Tuvan throat singers and instrumentalists, will play in Urbana Sunday and Monday, and we’ll learn more on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Black Chorus at the University of Illinois performs the music of Black Americans, from the Negro spiritual, anthems and formal music to gospel, jazz and rhythm and blues. Members of the Black Chorus and conductor Ollie Watts Davis will join us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local,” in advance of Saturday’s Mom’s Day Concert. Also live, we’ll hear folksinger and autoharpist Adam Miller, who will play in Clinton and Chatsworth this week.