Grateful listening

Chris Van Hof had an idea.  We liked it.  We're running with it, and you can help!

I always work on Thanksgiving and the Friday after.  That way, I can have Christmas off to spend with family.  We don't eat our Thanksgiving feast until 5-ish, so spending time with you during the day is never an interruption to our family festivites.  Of course, that also means I also get out of the turkey-stuffing duties (although somehow I always end up with the cranberry squash and mashed potatoes anyway). Programming for Thanksgiving is always a delightful project;  all I have to do is pick the loveliest, most contemplative tunes in our library, and put them on the air.  Chris had another idea for this holiday weekend.

This was Chris' thought:  what if we asked our listeners to share the music they're thankful for and why it means so much to them? And what a terrific idea!  Now I have the chance to play your loveliest, most contemplative music on Thanksgiving Day (as will Chris, by the way).  So...the ball is in your court.  Send us your choices by email ([email protected]) or snail mail (WXXI, PO Box 30021, Rochester, NY 14603-3021), with a brief explanation of why the piece means so much to you.  We'll play your picks, with explanations, on Thanksgiving and the Friday after.  If you don't want your name used, please let us know in your missive.  So what will it be?  Marianne is thankful for Mozart's Requiem--it always reminds her of Mozart's brilliance. I'm thankful for the Gnossienne No. 5 by Erik Satie and Chopin's Berceuse, because they always bring me inner peace.  Elgar's Nimrod reminds me of my husband and children, and how deeply I love them.  And what about Chris?  He loves the Moonlight movement from Britten's Four Sea Interludes because them transport him to that place of serenity. And you? We'll find out soon enough!  Thanks for all your entries.




Aaron Copeland's "The Blessings of Harvest" aria from "The Tender Land" speaks everything that I hold in my heart about Thanksgiving. That a city-bred composer (of a very different culture) could so accurately and beautifuly express the feelings of gratitude for bounty and the honor of honest work well done, that I felt as a Kansas-born ranch kid, is one of the true miracles of music. I attended the production of the opera at Nazareth last winter and wept all the way through the song. I came to New York about 20 years ago and was overjoyed to find WXXI FM. Having classical music consistently available compensated for a great deal of homesickness and disruption. I think of it as a wonderful counterpoint weaving through and around my fairly stressful life.


I teach kindergarten in a very violent area of the city. Most of my students never heard classical music until they entered my class. We have rest time each day at about 2 PM (though at this time of year I can barely keep them awake til 1:45!), and each day I play your station during rest time. 90-100% of my students fall asleep daily, and, if they are not sleeping, they are resting peacefully. I have to teach them how to relax, think silently, and enjoy this solitude, and they beg for rest time if they aren't heads down by 2 PM! I appreciate all of your music, but the artist you introduced to me is Madeleine Peyroux. She has that sultry, smokey voice of Billy Holiday that makes me want to sit back, shoes off, sipping a glass of dry wine. Of course, I can't do that while teaching, but Friday is always on the horizon! Thank you for helping me to maintain my sanity on very hectic weekdays at school, and thank you for lulling my students to beautiful dreams and quiet solitude they have never before experienced! Sincerely, Marne Kinney School 6 Hudson @ Upper Falls Blvd.