WXXI Classical Blog

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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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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The Hour of Charm

An inspiration for Andre Rieu? What makes Evelyn's violin magical? And why is Phil shushing his All-Girl Orchestra?

I thought you'd enjoy this old flyer I picked up at the Yankee Peddler Bookshop in Rochester.I thought you'd enjoy this old flyer I picked up at the Yankee Peddler Bookshop in Rochester.

For more charm, click here: http://musicology.typepad.com/dialm/2007/12/im-wasting-time....

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Christmas Eve Post

I've been so busy with the holidays that I missed the fact that Alex Ross named the RPO's new Gershwin CD one of the best of the year! (Read more here: http://www.therestisnoise.com/) Finished The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand last night. Today I'm playing my last services as the choirmaster and church organist at my Episcopal church. I have barely enough time to wipe away a tear of bittersweet relief before the whirlwind of visits begins. Wednesday, off to Ohio to visit a college friend. I hope to post a few times over the next week, including Things to Look Forward to in Rochester in 2008. Merry Christmas to you!

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Don't hate her because she's beautiful

Those who think classical music is kinda sexless, boring, or soulless haven't heard soprano Danielle de Niese. She sang Messiah last weekend with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester Oratorio Society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcVg1UtQLNQ

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Have Yourself a Gerry Christmas!

It’s that time of year, time to consider the people you care for most. Whom do you love? Whom do you want to spend time with? Whom do you HAVE to spend time with? Are you happy? What does that mean, exactly?

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