July Highlights on VIA Radio

Posted by Chris Zellers on

Empire in Decline


Tuesday, July 2, 9pm

A melodic rock band trio from the Wyoming Valley, Empire in Decline was formed by members of the popular band Plus 3. Empire in Decline recently released a new recording “Light Pollution.” Homegrown Music presents an encore of their 2014 session spotlighting their strong songwriting and appealing sound.


Let Freedom Sing

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Thursday, July 4, 11am

Join Julie Amacher for an hour of traditional, patriotic choral music performed by the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. "Let Freedom Sing" offers the perfect balance of inspiration and celebration for Independence Day.


To Honor and Inspire: U.S. Military Bands Special

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Thursday, July 4, 1pm

Andrea Blain hosts this patriotic new special, featuring performances by the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine bands. Audiences will be moved and uplifted by an hour of music, including marches by Sousa, Jewell and Gould, and classical works by Copland, Saint-Saens and Holst.


Billy Budd


Saturday, July 6, 1pm

Three new recruits join the warship HMS Indomitable, commanded by the scholarly Captain Vere. The first two are nothing special, but the third, young Billy Budd, is hailed by the Master at Arms John Claggart as a jewel - despite his occasional stammer. Billy settles in happily as foretopman and his kindness quickly makes him friends. But Claggart begins to envy the young mariner and that envy leads to a tragic conclusion

Billy Budd is Benjamin Britten's grandest opera. It is based on the American writer Herman Melville's novel Billy Budd, Sailor, which was particularly popular in England. Britten and his librettists E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier collaborated in crafting the opera's text, and gave greater prominence to Captain Vere - the role Britten wrote for his partner Peter Pears - than in Melville's novel.


Piano Duos


Sunday, July 7, 2pm

Listening to the piano adaptations of pieces like Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, you might just hear things your ear has gotten used to ignoring in the original. We have three fascinating piano duos with original works and adaptations, familiar and unfamiliar pieces – and a whole lotta notes.


Tod Pronto


Tuesday, July 9, 9pm

From New England, Tod Pronto released an album last year called “Hide Away from the Sun” which was featured on WVIA’s Mixed Bag. He paid a visit to Homegrown Music to perform an acoustic set of songs from the album as well as some new material. This is an encore of his 2018 series debut.


Andrea Chenier


Saturday, July 13, 1pm

The poet Andrea Chénier attends a party at the Countess di Coigny's mansion. He expresses outrage at the corruption in King Louis XVI's government and the poverty of many Frenchmen. This moves the Countess's daughter Maddalena, and inspires the footman and revolutionary-in-the-making Carlo Gérard to quit his servitude. Soon after, the French Revolution begins. It is not a good time for an free-thinking, outspoken poet.

Andrea Chénier was Umberto Giordano's third opera. The libretto, by Puccini's regular collaborator Luigi Illica, is loosely based on the life and tragic death of the French poet André Chénier, who was executed during the French Revolution. The premiere of Chénier on 28 March 1896 was a great success, and the opera became one of the most popular examples of the verismo (literally, 'realist') movement in Italian opera. Not surprisingly, the tenor protagonist gets some fine solos, including Act I's ardent aria 'Un dì, all'azzurro spazio', and Act IV's nostalgic 'Come un bel dì di maggio'.


Orchestras of Saxony


Sunday, July 14, 2pm

International understanding and the free flow of ideas are the lifeblood of the music world. Reminding us of these core values, two of Saxony's storied orchestras – arch-rivals actually – got together for a common purpose in this concert. The Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig and Staatskapelle Dresden join forces in the Egmont Overture of Beethoven and the Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. Conducting: Herbert Blomstedt a former Music Director of both orchestras.


A Homegrown Music Concert Encore with INVERT


Tuesday, July 16, 9pm

During the summer hiatus of the Homegrown Music concert series, producer/host George Graham is presenting rebroadcasts of memorable live performances from the past. This one features the only string quartet HGM has presented. Named after its configuration with two cellos, and one violin and viola, Invert, founded by a jazz-rock fusion bassist, performed original genre-defying music including group improvisations. Unfortunately, the group went their separate ways not long after this concert, but their remarkable music is featured in his 2008 show, performed live in WVIA’s Sordoni Theater. It’s a long way from Mozart.



Saturday, July 20, 1pm

From the Rossini Opera Festival comes one of the less performed works of this master of bel canto opera -- Adina. Premiered in 1826 at Lisbon’s Teatro Sao Carlos, the comic one-act opera, set in Baghdad, did not return to the stage until 1963. New Orleans native, soprano Lisette Oropesa received warm notices for her portrayal of the title role.


Tensions in Heimbach

Sunday, July 21, 2pm

More electrifying performances from the historic hydroelectric power plant in a river valley in a remote corner of western Germany. The mostly Russian playbill reflects the country in focus in the festival's most recent edition. One festival's claim to fame is nothing less or more than serving up some of the finest chamber music anywhere. But this most recent time, “Tensions, Music in the Power Power Plant in Heimbach” focused on Russia, Russian music and Russian composers. Host Rick Fulker takes us to this unusual concert hall for music by Shostakovich, Gliere, Prokofiev – and one of the Russian Quartets by Haydn. Not to mention a world premiere, commissioned by the festival, a piano quartet by Sergei Nevski.


Honey King


Tuesday, July 23, 9pm

This New Jersey trio started out as a blues band, but became an acoustic folk trio marked by very attractive original music, marked by great vocal harmonies. This is an encore of Honey King’s 2012 Homegrown Music debut.


Orfeo ed Euridice

Saturday, July 27, 1pm

Christoph Willibald Gluck’s retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice continues to capture the imaginations and hearts of music lovers today. Conductor Gianluca Capuano leads the Rome Opera Orchestra in this production staged at the Teatro Costanzi in the Italian capital. Countertenor Carlo Vistoli and soprano Mariangela Sicilia share the title roles.


Early Music in Hernee

Sunday, July 28, 2pm

Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath: the seven deadly sins have plagued the consciences of sinners for centuries – and inspired a lot of music explored by the Early Music Days in Herne. Together we'll partake in the delightful pleasure of musically processing man's failings. Music of Tallis, Stradella, Rossini, and Bach is featured.


Bourbon & Bliss


Tuesday, July 30, 9pm

A quartet co-led by spouses T. Scott Ross and Elizabeth Eckert-Ross, Bourbon & Bliss serve up clever, melodic original songs with Ms. Eckert-Ross’ piano featured prominently. This is an encore of their 2015 series debut.


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