MTPR

Front Row Center

Sunday 11:40 AM -11:45 AM

Montana Public Radio's on-air arts and culture magazine, bringing you news of upcoming performing arts and music around western Montana.

Front Row Center podcast

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Tom Bensen of Arts Missoula joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek with a report on the economic impact of non-profit arts organizations in Missoula County — a whopping $54 million according to a new report from Americans for the Arts.

"These are numbers that validate what people already know," Bensen says, "that the arts and culture organizations and people contribute a lot to our economy."

The 2017 Montana Folk Festival is July 7-9 in Butte, Montana. Tune in to Montana Public Radio to hear music live from the festival Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy photo

There's a lot going on in Butte this summer, from the Big Bang fireworks extravaganza to the Montana Folk Festival, and even a Folk Feast, which is part fundraiser and part art event.  George Everett, executive director of Main Street Uptown Butte joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek to give you a preview of the summer fun coming up in Butte.

The Travelin' McCourys at the 2014 Montana Folk Festival
Michael Marsolek

"I just think that Americans, now more than ever, need to be reminded of and celebrate, and just feel good about what great culture we have produced and continue to produce through these community based traditions," says Nick Spitzer, host of American Routes.

Spitzer will be back in the state for the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, July 7-9 where he'll join MTPR's Michael Marsolek and the MTPR crew broadcasting live from the festival. In this interview, Spitzer talks about how the Montana Folk Festival fits in to the larger mosaic of folk music in America.

Guy Raz says the new "Wow in the World" podcast is, "a chance for us to celebrate scientists and discoverers and technologists and the people who are making our world better and more interesting."

"Wow in the World" is a show for curious kids and grown-ups. Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas join MTPR's Michael Marsolek to talk about using the show to inspire kids to appreciate the amazing things that are happening around the world.

Montana Repertory Theatre
Josh Burnham

The Montana Repertory Theater, a professional theater-in-residence at the University of Montana, will complete five performances of Harper Lee's landmark play "To Kill a Mockingbird" in Beijing and other locations in China.

Greg Johnson, artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre says, "We believe this is the first time an American theater company will bring this play to mainland China."

Johnson joins Michael Marsolek on this episode of "Front Row Center" to talk more about this international cultural exchange.

Bill Harley, singer, songwriter, author and storyteller.
Josh Burnham

Bill Harley — a two-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, author and storyteller — says storytelling is "absolutely central to what it is to be human." Harley's original songs and stories paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling, and family life.

Harley talks about storytelling, learning the cello, and his upcoming Missoula performance in this interview with MTPR's Michael Marsolek.

IWFF is an annual wildlife and conservation themed film festival held each April in Missoula, Montana. The event draws in hundreds of filmmakers, scientists, conservationists and enthusiasts.
IWFF

The International Wildlife Film Festival is about "honest, ethical film-making," says Executive Director Mike Steinberg. "It's hard to tell a story about any species without maybe considering the ramifications of the impact that humans are making on the planet ... And we're interested in presenting beautiful, theatrical films."

Steinberg joins Michael Marsolek to preview some of the highlights at this week's festival and talk about the festival's vision and 40 year history.

National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

"It was a pretty impressive winter," says Trent Smith from the National Weather Service. "Kalispell and Missoula had some of the coldest average mean temperatures since the late 1970's. And then we ... got a significant amount of snow over this winter. And now that we've transitioned here these past few weeks we're really looking at the flooding issues."

Listen now as Smith recaps the weather highlights from this winter and gives a preview of what's in store for western Montana as we transition from winter to spring.

"It's what I call pretty pictures with music," says producer Daniel Dauterive. "It's designed to be a nice break from the world. We're not trying to teach you anything ... we're just saying this is a great park, and here's some great music, enjoy a half hour of letting go of the real world."

"Ninety percent of this program is showcasing what the vast majority of people don't get to see about Yellowstone," says Scott Billadeau, who composed and played the music for this movie.

Learn more from behind the scenes of "Yellowstone in Four Seasons" with producer Daniel Dauterive and musician Scott Billadeau on this episode of "Front Row Center."

Bar feet
Flickr user, Roger Jones (cc-by-2.0)

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre (RMBT), which is based in Missoula, will once again be hosting the prestigious Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE). The five-day international dance challenge will be held in conjunction with the the second annual Art of Diplomacy conference and film festival. Charlene Campbell Carey, the Artistic Director of RMBT and the VIBE U.S.A. Director, discusses how the arts deepen human connections.

The events will take place January 10-14, 2016.

Marty Whitmore is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.
Josh Burnham

With the first big winter storm of the season headed to western Montana, Marty Whitmore, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula joins Michael Marsolek to talk weather. Whitmore previews the incoming storm, explains what those weather zones (pictured above) mean , and talks about why western Montana is one of the most challenging places to forecast in the country.

Guy Raz, TED Conference
FLICKR USER, RYAN LASH (CC-BY-2.0)

Guy Raz, host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, says we view our world through a series of prisms. If we re-frame our perspectives, we can recognize the possibilities. TED Radio Hour is the fastest growing program in radio history. It explores what it means to be human and new ways of thinking. Raz is also the host and creator of a new podcast, How I Built This, which looks at the a-ha moments and tipping points behind some of the most iconic businesses and brands .

Cuban choir Cantores de Cienfuegos sings during a live performance on Montana Public Radio Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
Josh Burnham

Did you enjoy  the Cantores de Cienfuegos Cuban choir at Missoula's 2016 International Choral Festival this summer? Want to hear more from them? Yvonne Gritzner helped bring the choir to Montana, and she has the details on a "Cuban Encore" benefit to help fund the travel costs for bringing this extraordinary group to Montana.

The Missoula Symphony Presents "Fast Machine" Sep. 24 & 25.
Courtesy Missoula Symphony

While John Adams' digital sound may seem an odd fit with Mendelssohn's romantic style, the Missoula Symphony finds connections in the contrast. The opening concert of the symphony's 62nd season, entited, "Fast Machine," juxtaposes "machine, motion and rhythm" with "fluidity and majesty," and features guest violinist Jennifer Frautschi peforming Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1. 

Gallagher
Wikipedia, Nightscream (CC-BY-3.0)

Stand-up comedian Gallagher has smashed about 20,000 watermelons during his career, and he's not likely to stop anytime soon. Gallagher is coming to the West with BIRTHDAY BASH! Gallagher The Joke's On You Comedy Tour With Special Guest Artie Fletcher.

The Montana Book Festival runs from September 20 - 25 in Missoula.
Montana Book Festival

The Montana Book Festival celebrates storytelling under the big sky with over 100 events and 200 authors. Executive director Rachel Mindell says it's difficult to choose what she is looking forward to the most. From the Literary Death Match with four authors and three celebrity judges to a Pop-up Book workshop, there's something for everyone. The festival runs from September 20 - 25 in Missoula.

The 62nd season of the Helena Symphony begins with music from Korngold and Rachmaninoff, two composers whose music "drip[s] with silver and chocolate sauce." "A Symphony Spooktacular" sets a haunting backdrop to the season while "¡Flamenco!" brings some Spanish culture to Montana.  Allan R. Scott, music director and conductor for the Helena Symphony, shares upcoming highlights.

Bitterroot Performing Arts Series
Bitterroot Performing Arts

Laurie Ruffner, the new executive director of the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, shares some highlights from The Hamilton Performing Arts Center's upcoming season, including performances by Reduced Shakespeare and acclaimed singer/songwriter Darrell Scott.

Fern Glass Boyd, artistic director of the String Orchestra of the Rockies talks about the group's upcoming concert at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival, and the four concerts of the ensemble's 32 season, starting in September.

The Ninth Annual Festival Amadeus, presented by the Glacier Symphony and Chorale, runs from August 8 - 14, 2016 at venues in Whitefish and Bigfork. The festival features chamber and orchestra concerts with guest soloists and the Festival Amadeus orchestra. (See the full Festival Amadeus schedule below.)

Michael Marsolek talks with cellist Amit Peled, who performs a benefit recital with pianist Christopher Hahn for the Glacier Symphony and Chorale on Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish. Peled pays tribute to Pablo Casals ("the grandfather of all cellists," Peled calls him), performing on the 1733 Goffriller cello owned and played by Casals himself for 60 years.

The 2016 St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival opens June 26.
Courtesy photo

Connie Fitzpatrick from the St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival talks with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about the festival's upcoming season. Each year the festival features a variety of classical, jazz, vocal, and instrumental performers, in a breathtaking setting.

First Edition Shakespeare Plays On Tour In Missoula
flickr user Andrea Parrish-Geyer CC BY-ND 2.0

Barbara Koostra, director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, and Julie Biando Edwards, associate professor at the Mansfield Library, talk with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about an important piece of Shakespeare history coming to Missoula.

Shakespeare's First Folio Coming To Montana

Apr 10, 2016

The University of Montana has been named as Montana’s host for the “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare." The Folio is on national tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. The First Folio exhibition will be on display in MMAC and open to the public May 9-31, 2016. The display in Missoula is sponsored by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library and the Montana Museum of Art & Culture (MMAC).

Hobson And Great Falls Host Fiery Fiddler And His Band

Apr 3, 2016

Tom Rigney and Flambeau deliver their fiery, electrifying performances of Cajan, zydeco, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes to audiences in Central Montana.

Sunday, April 3, 4 p.m.
Hobson Public School in Hobson

 

Missoula Community Concert Band Silver Anniversary Spring Concert

Conduced by Dr. Thomas H. Cook

Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at MCT Center for the Performing Arts
200 North Adams Street, Missoula

Doors open at 7:10 p.m.

FREE admission (donations accepted)

For more information, contact Steve Corn at 406-240-8026 or corn.stephen@gmail.com.

Michael Marsolek talks with cellist Fern Glass Boyd and violinist Carrie Krause about the February 21, 2016 performance of the String Orchestra of the Rockies, 7:30 p.m. at the Music Recital Hall in the School of Music at the University of Montana-Missoula.

Documentary filmmaking and Montana are getting along like a house on fire. Every February, Missoula's Big Sky Documentary Film Festival draws a growing audience to more and more non-fiction films that have been submitted by filmmakers from around the globe, furthering the Big Sky Film Institute's mission to encourage media literacy by fostering public understanding and appreciation of documentary film.

Michael Marsolek talks with Anne Basinski, Director of The University of Montana's Opera Theater, about the collaborative production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Gondoliers." Produced at the MCT Center For the Performing Arts and featuring the UM Symphony Orchestra, the cast of this production of "pure melodious goofiness" (and some contemporary satire) includes Roxann Jackson as the Dutchess, Royce Mcintosh as Giuseppe, and Taylor Caprara as Casilda.

The Vienna International Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition comes to Missoula, January 12-16, 2016 - but according to Charlene Campbell Carey, Artistic Director of Missoula's Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, the moniker for the event is "VIBE," or The Vienna International Ballet Experience. That's because the dance challenge is part of a broader, multidisciplinary series of community events, nearly all of them free, all asking the question, "What is the role of the arts in communication, health, and diplomacy?"

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