Recent Posts from all WXXI Blogs

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Heartbreak

When Beth Wilhelm awoke on the morning of Christmas Eve, her husband’s breathing sounded funny. “I tried shaking him awake, but he didn’t respond,” she said. “He was turning gray.”

Panicked, Beth called 9-1-1 and started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Soon, paramedics arrived to take Roger Wilhelm to Strong Memorial hospital.

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Kingdoms

While Mike Huckabee’s emergence as a Republican front runner in the 2008 Presidential race is obviously good news for his supporters, it also pleases some music and arts advocates. Writer Alex Ross has already noted the former Arkansas governor’s professed love for music and his legislation to bolster it in public schools. (Remember Bill Clinton and his saxophone?) While in office, Huckabee signed a law requiring every child in grades one through six to receive at least forty minutes a week of instruction in music and other arts. "In the true spirit of No Child Left Behind," Huckabee explained, "leaving the arts out is beyond neglect and is virtual abuse of a child."

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Brizard Blizzard

Just before Christmas, WXXI Radio News Director Peter Iglinski stopped by my desk and suggested we use our growing partnership with WDKX-FM to do something innovative around the appointment of Jean-Claude Brizard, the new superintendent of the Rochester City School District.

We called a meeting with WDXK's Tariq Spence, whom I rate as one of Rochester's best radio personalities (and just an all-around good guy.)

The "Brizard Blizzard" was born.

(Okay, that is not the official name of our project. But the snow was swirling the day we met, and that's the name that found its way into the space between my ears.)

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From The Top & Homework Hotline

Have you heard the news?? From the Top is coming to Rochester on Sunday, January 20, 2008!

From The Top is a national musical organization that encourages and celebrates the commitment of young people to music. From the Top programming includes nationally broadcast television and radio shows, educational programs and a website.

Here are some of the activities planned at WXXI and in Rochester to celebrate From the Top:

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Jumping Into January

As hard as it is to believe that it is now 2008, January of the new year is officially in full swing. After the exciting hustle and bustle of the holiday season, January may sometimes feel overly quiet by comparison but I am a firm believer that you can make just about anything exciting if you really try. So, here's some observances, events and ideas to help make your January a more memorable one.

It's Book Blitz Month
Resolve to Eat Breakfast Month
World Braille Day, January 4
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 21
National Compliment Day, January 24
National Write to Congress Day, January 30

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To Your Health

Despite what they say about journalists, I prefer to focus on the positive.

But as we were toasting the New Year this week, I was somewhat glad to see 2007 go. Despite many wonderful happenings, the year brought some painful moments in my life. And I mean that quite literally. Here's an October excerpt from my personal journal:

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It’s Wednesday evening, and I am in Room Four of the hospital emergency room. I have a good view of the nurses’ station, which is really the heart of the operation. The doctors come here to unload and pick up patient cases.

Organ bench II

On Sunday morning I woke up feeling hollow and unnecessary. I swung my feet onto the floor and stared out the window at the feeble sunlight, the bare trees, and the grass, still matted by leaves I hadn't found time to rake.

I wasn’t a church organist anymore. For four years, I rushed out every Sunday, pulled on a black robe and white cotta, greeted the choir, and perched attentively on the organ bench at a small town Episcopal church. I’d left my post after Christmas Eve, and this past Sunday, for the first time, no one was expecting me to show up.

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Crystal ball

Happy New Year! Our Distinguished Committee on Future Delights presents these cultural events for you to look forward to in 2008:

JANUARY

You don’t even have to leave the house. Tonight (January 2nd) at 8:00 p.m., hear the final broadcast concert from the 2006-2007 season of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Classical 91.5 FM (or streamed at wxxi.org.) Christopher Seaman conducts Pictures at an Exhibition.

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New Year

When I started blogging in October, I did it for my own pleasure. I saw it as an absorbing way to think out loud about classical music, flex my writing muscles, and pass on information that isn’t exactly newsworthy, but worth something. I really like doing it, and hope you like reading it.

Even though I set out to write for myself, I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the number of readers drawn to each post. I can see this number, which most can’t, and you might be surprised by what’s attracted the most attention.

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News of Roger Wilhelm, director of Madrigalia

The former Music Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society, Roger Wilhelm, had a very serious heart attack during the early hours of Christmas Eve morning. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and was placed in a drug-induced coma for 48 hours. As of today, he was taken out of the coma and has had a miraculous improvement and is now alert and able to speak.

Wilhelm is currently serving in his last season as Music Director of Madrigalia.

His family asks for prayers – no visitors, no flowers. If you wish to send greetings, please send to Roger’s home address: Roger Wilhelm, 4280 East Ave. Rochester , NY 14618.

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