Classical 90.5 Donates 44 Brand New Instruments


Louisville, Ky. (November 19, 2015) — Louisville Public Media (LPM), with generous support from the Robert and Clarita Whitney Fund and PNC Wealth Management, has donated 44 new band instruments to Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students through its Instrumental Partners Program. The value of the instruments is more than $17,000.

The instruments will be distributed to students at Jacob Elementary, Western High School, Doss High School and the Phoenix School of Discovery. The program has already donated 63 refurbished instruments to JCPS in 2015.

Western sophomore Jasmine Gibson received a new clarinet. Jasmine, a student in Western’s Early College Program, has played the clarinet for six years and performs in the Western band.

“When I requested an instrument, I honestly thought it would be ignored,” Jasmine said. “For me, music is a door to self expression. Now, I’ll be able to practice more frequently and improve my skills for a future musical career.”

“Instrumental Partners has been an integral part of our organization’s identity. We don’t just play classical music — we give back to the community,” said LPM Director of Radio Daniel Gilliam. “We are thrilled that the Robert and Clarita Whitney Fund acknowledge this mission and are grateful for their financial support.”

Instruments distributed:
• Jacob Elementary School received 30 violins.
• The Phoenix School of Discovery received four clarinets and a trumpet.
• Western High School received three trumpets, three clarinets, and a tuba.
• Doss High School received a bass clarinet and a euphonium.

About the Instrumental Partners Program
Since 2003, the Louisville Public Media Instrumental Partners Program has placed more than 600 instruments in the hands of students in our community, allowing hundreds of children to participate in school music opportunities. The program collects gently used band and orchestra instruments, has them refurbished and then donates the instrument back to students in need. Studies continue to show that music listening, performance and lessons improve our language, communication and problem-solving skills, benefits that Louisville Public Media hopes all students in our community can experience. Charles Brinson, a tenth grader at Shawnee High School, describes what playing an instrument has meant to him here.

The donation of instruments is made possible by Louisville Public Media’s Instrumental Partners Program, with generous support from the Robert and Clarita Whitney Fund and PNC Wealth Management. Special thanks to the Community Foundation of Louisville for their support.

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Live In-Studio: Jiyoung Jeoung


Come hear a live in-studio with pianist Jiyoung Jeoung on Thursday at 1pm. She’ll play Mozart and Joan Tower (preview below).

Doors open at 12:45pm. Free and open-to-the-public.

Justin Holland

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There is a good chance you have never heard of Justin Holland. He might be America’s first African-American classical guitar performer, composer and arranger. Holland was born to a freeman in 1819 in Norfolk, Virginia. After his parent’s death, he moved to Massachusetts, a state more accepting of free blacks at the time. When he was 14, Holland was inspired to learn the guitar after seeing Spanish guitarist Mariano Perez perform.

Holland then moved to Ohio to study music at Oberlin College. He attended Oberlin in both 1841 and in 1845. His reputation as a composer and arranger gave him the title of Cleveland’s first African -American professional musician. In addition to his work as a musician, Holland worked with Frederick Douglas on the Underground Railroad working to free slaves from the South prior to the emancipation.

People often listened to Holland’s music without being aware of his race which in turn made him a household name. Until his death in 1887, Holland worked tirelessly as a musician and abolitionist. Of his 350 composition and arrangements, about one-third of his work survived. His arrangements include the overture to William Tell by Rossini and Carnival of Venice by Jean-Baptiste Arban.

Interview: Kaaija Saariaho

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(Photo credit: Priska Ketterer)

Kaaija Saariaho’s music is entrancing – sometimes disorienting. It’s lyrical and colorful. It often combines intricate textures with electronic elements, that can be delicate and ethereal or just loud and thick. Performances of her music have been steadily growing throughout the United States since the early 2000s, and earlier this year the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Gustavo Dudamel and baritone Gerald Finley, commissioned and premiered her song cycle “True Fire.” In March of 2016 the Dutch National Opera will premiere her next opera “Only the Sound Remains.”

Saariaho’s work earned the admiration from audiences and critics, and she’s been the recipient of major prizes including the Polar Music Prize in 2013, the Nemmers Prize in 2011, and in 2003 the Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition for her opera “L’amour de loin,” an opera Anthony Tomassini of the New York Times named best new work of 2000. She is in Louisville as a guest for the 30th Anniversary of the Grawemeyer Award and sat down with Daniel Gilliam to talk about her career and music.

Audio MP3

Live In-Studio: University of Louisville Pianists

Performance Studio Piano

Come hear and see some of the most talented pianists from the University of Louisville on Wednesday, November 11, at noon.

Coached by Dror Biran, you’ll experience the talents of Elliot Eckel, Nathaniel Mo, Paige Harpring, Brytner Evangelista, Ibosh Chertmanov and Tim Spencer; playing the music of Ravel, Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin.
Dror Biran Studio
The in-studio is free and open-to-the-public. Doors open at 11:45am.

We’re offering box lunches from City Cafe to our listener members. Call (502) 814-6565 by November 10 at noon.