Rally in Downtown Chicago. The photo is taken behind approximately ten rows of protesters with signs gathering around Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Behind him is an orange inflatable rat with a sign reading "RATS!!! No Contract from the Reader"

Month 2: Crime and Peace

Cultural Event: Old-Time Radio and Chamber Music (Pictured: Radio Players West with trombonists Reed Capshaw, Adam Moen, and Mark Fry) On October 4th, Chamber Music on the Fox presented “Crime Classics” in Elgin, Illinois. They teamed up with local actors from Radio Players West for a wonderful performance of two radio dramas with music by Bernard Herrmann. (The same composer from seven Alfred Hitchcock films, including Psycho.) The titles were “Death of a Picture Hanger” and ““Coyle and Richardson – Why They Hung in a Spanking Breeze”. They were performed exactly as you’d imagine old-time radio, complete … Continue Reading

The view of an fairly full baseball stadium from the Center Field bleachers. It's a day game. There are fans talking with one another, fans watching the game, and one man is walking up the aisle facing the camera carrying concessions. The team in the outfield is wearing white uniforms, and the umpire is in Center Field.

Bases and Basses: The Case for Baseball Fans in Classical Music

Last week, the Chicago Cubs recaptured the title of World Series Champions for the first time since 1908. As a Chicagoland native who incidentally spent most of last month performing in the Windy City, it was impossible not to be swept up by Cubs Fever. Admittedly, I’m not savvy when it comes to baseball culture. Watching the World Series and the preceding Playoffs helped me learn a good deal about who watches these games. It didn’t take long for me to notice how similar baseball fans are to classical music fans. Concentration and Delayed … Continue Reading

Month 1: Gyros and Hot Dogs

Cultural Event: The National Hellenic Museum It’s fitting that the National Hellenic (Greek) Museum sits in Chicago, one of the historical epicenters for Greek American life. I loved this museum. There were photographs from the first few modern Olympic Games starting in 1896, Greek Orthodox Art, and examples of traditional Greek textiles. There was also a significant part of the museum dedicated to the geodynamics of Greece from ancient times until the present. As an avid fan of Richard Strauss’s opera “Ariadne auf Naxos”, I particularly got a kick out of the images … Continue Reading

Elderly woman reading newspaper on a park bench. Her legs are crossed at her ankles, and she is facing to her right. She is wearing all black clothes, black gloves, and has white hair. Green grass, a couple yellow flowers, and green shrubs are behind her. The bench is dark brown wood, and it sits on top of asphalt.

Think Globally, Subscribe Locally

SAVE THE CHICAGO READER I noticed these words on a train’s advertisement last month. The Chicago Reader is a local, alternative newspaper. It’s free of charge, it’s had an impressive following for 45 years, and it strongly emphasizes the Arts in Chicago. It’s also written by Union journalists from The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America (TNG-CWA Local 34071), and in keeping with the spirit of last month’s post, I encourage you to sign this petition. There is a threat of dramatic cuts by the owners, and to quote the “Save the Chicago Reader” Facebook page, “The Chicago Reader’s … Continue Reading

Three children walking shoeless along side an ocean on a beach at dusk. The left child is a boy in a white shirt and khaki shorts, the middle child is a girl in a blue dress, and the boy on the right is the tallest and also wears a white shirt with khakis. They all have black hair. Their backs face us, and the ocean is to the left. The sky is mostly clear with some clouds to the right that reflect the distant Sun. On the right off in the distance, there is tall green grass in front of a cluster of buildings.

Extend a Hand, but Move Your Feet

It’s Labor Day in the United States, and whether or not you’re a member of an American Labor Union, you’ll probably hear some familiar phrases today. Thanks to those who fought to make the American workplace what it is today… We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us… Without the workforce, our country couldn’t prosper… Indeed, these sentiments all capture the spirit of the holiday. But there’s one word that connects all of the themes we celebrate today: Solidarity. Musicians have benefited greatly from solidarity. Especially from other Labor Unions. Over the past 150 … Continue Reading

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