Simon Pontin

Come to Italy with me!

A few years ago, my colleague Laura Garrison formed a club for WXXI listeners who are passionate about travel.  She and former morning host Simon Pontin led a trip to Austria in 2008. Last year, a small group went to Costa Rica with WRUR’s Scott Regan. When Laura asked me to co-host a trip to northern Italy in 2011, I was thrilled.

Simon Pontin narrates at upcoming Rochester Chamber Orchestra concert

Retired Classical 91.5 Sunshine Show host Simon Pontin narrates a brand new work by William Cahn in the upcoming concert of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra.

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Pontin wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Retired WXXI Classical 91.5  Sunshine Show host Simon Pontin (seen here with wife Christy Simons) was awarded the Lifetime Achievement AwardPontinPontin by the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester at their 26th Annual Arts Award Luncheon today.  Lifetime Achievement AwardLifetime Achievement Award

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Brenda Tremblay named new Morning Drive Host/Producer

We at WXXI Classical 91.5 are thrilled to announce that Brenda Tremblay has been promoted to the full-time position of Morning Drive Host/Producer, replacing Simon Pontin who retired from the Super Scintillating Sunshine Show in May 2009. 
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Blue skies

On a recent Monday morning I walked into the studio of Rochester's classical music station cradling a stack of CDs in one arm and a sheaf of news reports in the other. The news was not good. The sky threatened rain. I slipped a CD into the player and started a Haydn symphony, a cheerful burst of minty freshness. I followed that with Vivaldi's chirpy Goldfinch Concerto, a flashy set of trills inspired by the song of the European goldfinch, (a mouse of a bird that's not even gold, by the way.)
 
The music was sunny. But as the minutes ticked by, my mood darkened. It DID start to rain. More depressing stories poured into the newsroom.
 
At one point I actually thought to myself, “What annoying person picked all of this chirrupy music for a dismal Monday morning?”
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Pontin Retirement Tributes

So many listeners have been asking to hear the retirement tribute pieces that were recorded by former colleagues, feature producers and friends.  All 21 of these audio pieces are now available on our website at: interactive.wxxi.org/highlights/simon-pontin-host-sunshine-show-and-salmagundy-retires  Listen and enjoy!
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Program changes on 91.5

With the retirement of Simon Pontin from the Sunshine Show and Salmagundy, we at Classical 91.5 are for the first time in over 30 years having to look at what program content to choose to enhance our classical music service and maintain, and hopefully grow, our audience for the future.  As hard as it has been for listeners - and staff - to say goodbye to a dear friend, this is a new era for Classical 91.5 and an opportunity to make our service even stronger for listeners of today - and tomorrow.
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Changes

There are a lot of changes here at the station these days. Most notably, Simon Pontin signed off for the last time last week after more than 30 years on the air. The outpouring of good wishes - and pledges - from the community was a good reminder of the importance of music in our lives. The act of sharing it is powerful, and we can attach a lot of emotion to the people who do the sharing.
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Office talent

For starters, Chris Van Hof plays trombone. Professionally.

Simon Pontin draws funky cartoons. Julia Figueras sews her kids' clothes for the first day of school and Halloween.

The deejays you hear on Classical 91.5 are incredibly artistic people on -- and off -- the air.

My friend, classical host Gerry Szymanski, entered his photographs in a public contest which ends in three days, and some of the shots are quite good. You'll have a chance to decide which of Gerry's pictures might be included in a future coffee table book if you click here.

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.

As you well know.

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Music you didn't even know you needed to know about

She does it once a week.

In her radio feature “What in the World is Music?” Eastman musicologist Ellen Koskoff takes listeners to some far-flung locale and listens to strange sounds humans make. They might be the yodels of a Bulgarian shepherd serenading the shepherdess babe in the field next door or a Balinese fisherman wailing a song about entrails. Sometimes the singers sound like cats. As the music plays, Ellen describes what’s happening in journalistic language.

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