Indiana Daily Student

Young musicians gain exposure on 'From the Top' now on WFIU

Young athletes are aired on television. Young writers are published in sections of the Sunday newspapers. And now, young classical musicians are broadcast throughout the airwaves here in Indiana.\nWFIU will air an hour-long classical music show at 7 p.m. Tuesday called "From the Top." It is not the typical classical music program. \n"It's an interesting and novel approach to listening to music," said Christina Kuzmych, station manager at WFIU.\nThe show is in the form of a contest and is recorded in front of a live studio audience. It features five solo performers or ensembles between the ages of 9 and 18. These are regular young people, with regular backgrounds and interests, for whom music is an integral part of their lives. In addition to performing, each young guest, selected from a nationwide search, is interviewed live by the show's host, world-renowned pianist Christopher O'Riley. Instead of discussing touring dates and repertoire, the musicians talk about such topics as school, soccer practice and their first kiss. At the end of the show, the audience votes on the best performer. The winner performs an encore and receives the 'Audience Choice Award.'\nAlong with the young performers, the show features trivia games and some well-known guest artists such as Judy Collins and Isaac Stern, who not only perform but also collaborate musically with the young participants and share their personal stories.\nThere are some pre-produced segments as well, some featuring an engaging 12-year-old roving reporter, Hayley Goldbach, who interviews friends and family of the performers and occasionally hits the streets to play a friendly game of musical questions.\nThe show began last January with senior executive producer Gerald Slavet and executive producer Jennifer Hurley-Wales. "From the Top" was a collaboration with New England Conservatory, which continues significant support, and WGBH-FM, the Boston station that recorded all the pilots.\n"From The Top" has grown immensely since 1998, when pilots aired on approximately 70 stations. Partially funded with a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, it now tapes 26 shows a year and is being carried nationally on 165 stations.\nAfter a review of the three-month period following the show's nationwide debut Jan. 1, Public Radio International said "From the Top" is the most successful, new classical music show it has ever launched.\nWFIU representatives said they hope audiences here will react as the rest of the world has. \n"These musical kids are the stars. Their enthusiasm for their music is infectious and instills confidence that the future of classical music is in good hands," said Ted Sohier, WQED, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.\n"Many symphony orchestras are realizing how valuable this show is in engaging audiences of all ages in classical music," said senior executive producer Slavet in a statement. "The live tapings are powerful when you see these kids play so brilliantly and then hear what's going on in their\nlives, it's very engaging. The magic of this show is that it appeals to the most sophisticated classical music listener as well as to a fourth grader, to someone who listens to rock and roll or to bluegrass. Since the talk about music comes from kids, they're not talking over anyone's head or down to anyone," Slavet said.\nMembers of the WFIU administration team said they see the show as peaking interest in something that has too often been overlooked. \n"In our society we emphasize sports achievement but not musical achievement. Giving musical achievers the center stage is a good idea," Kuzmych said.

WFIU Weekday Programming\n• Midnight Classical Music Overnight\n• 6 a.m. Morning Edition, National Public Radio's award-winning news program.\n• 8:10 a.m. Classical Music with George Walker\n• 8:30 a.m. NPR News\n• 8:33 a.m. Classical Music with George Walker (continued)\n• 8:50 a.m. Marketplace, a daily overview of financial news from Public Radio International\n• 9:05 a.m. Classical Music with George Walker (continued)\n• 9:50 a.m. Marketplace \n• 10 a.m. BBC News\n• 10:05 a.m. Classical Music with George Walker (continued)\n• 10:57 a.m. A Moment of Science, produced in conjunction with IU faculty\n• 11:05 a.m. Classical Music with George Walker (continued)\n• 12:01 p.m. NPR News\n• 12:06 p.m. Fresh Air, an interview-based program with host Terri Gross\n• 1 p.m. Performance Today\n• 2 p.m. Adventures in Good Music\n• 3 p.m. Classical Music with George Walker\n• 3:23 p.m. Weather Notebook\n• 3:25 p.m. News\n• 3:30 p.m. Just You and Me with Joe Bourne\n• 4:57 p.m. A Moment of Science\n• 5:01 p.m. All Things Considered, news coverage and commentary from National Public Radio\n• 7:01 p.m. The Writer's Almanac\n• 7:06 p.m. Evening Classical Music

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