The email was delivered a few weeks back: Backstage Pass was a finalist in the Radio division for New York Festivals. We just didn't know what we won. We waited. The word came on Friday, and it was Bronze!
Congratulations to Julia Figueras, Dave Sluberski, Andrew Croucher and the Cello Divas, Backstage Passwho were awarded a Bronze World Medal for Backstage Pass in the category of Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program by the New York Festivals!
On Saturday night, a panel of judges, including WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras, named Rochester's Classical Idol in the 3rd Annual Contest to benefit the Rochester Oratorio Society.
The First Prize winner was soprano Jacqueline Noparstak of New York City. She walked away with $1,500 and the chance to solo with the ROS. Second Prize and $1,000 went to baritone Evan Jones, and the Third Prize winner was soprano Elena O'Connor, who earned $500 for her performance of Rachmaninoff's mournful art song "Ne krasavica pri mne." Jones won the Audience Favorite Award.
Jack Ertle plays piano. Jeanne Fisher sings alto. Ruth Phinney crochets. I can play "Chopsticks" with my toes. I'm not sure what John Andres and Marianne Carberry do for fun, but it's bound to be something surprising. Music lovers tend to be especially creative people.
Last week, flutist Bonita Boyd came to WXXI to perform on a live, in-studio show, Backstage Pass. To promote her appearance, I pulled out her excellent CD of Niccolo Paganini’s 24 Caprices, Op. 1, a set of mind-bogglingly difficult violin solos Boyd plays deftly on the flute. Looking at the CD cover, I wondered, what’s with the old car? The expanse of leg? The sexy smile? Paganini, a randy charmer, would most heartily approve.
9:59 a.m. Friday, November 16th. Backstage Pass, WXXI's live studio music show, airs in about 3 hours.
Host Julia Figueras is still not sure what guests Juliana Athayde and William Preucil will be playing. Since the two violinists had a student-teacher relationship, Julia decides to focus the interview on the subject of mentoring. 10:15 a.m. Julia shows her list of interview questions to intern Hannah St. Marie.