When will it be safe to sing together again? It’s a question the New York Times asked earlier this month when reporting on how choirs have been linked to several coronavirus outbreaks. Scientific research shows that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets. When singers project in performance settings, they may unwittingly spread the virus, if infected. There have been conflicting messages across the globe about the risk of singing during the pandemic.

This hour, we discuss what the data shows and how local and national groups are adapting, both in the short and long term. Our guests:

  • Lee Wright, director of music ministry at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, and founder artistic director of First Inversion choral ensemble
  • Janet Galván, professor of performance studies, and director of choral activities and conducting at Ithaca College
  • Dr. Scott Stratton-Smith, family medicine specialist with Rochester Regional Health
  • Brenda Tremblay, host for WXXI's Classical 91.5, and member of a local choir

It’s a “singing intervention!” Do you want to sing, but feel nervous or dislike the sound of your voice? Did you play and instrument as a child, but haven’t picked it up in years?

Today is Make Music Day, so we spend the hour celebrating music in all its forms, including the human voice. We also discuss the science behind singing, and how it can change your brain. Our guests:

Local singing competitions under the microscope. Who needs American Idol when you have Classical Idol? Who needs X Factor when you have Lotte Lenya?

In all seriousness, it's a big week for some talented contestants. Contestants from all over the world gather in Rochester for a chance to become the next Classical Idol. In addition to cash prizes, the winner will also win a solo performance with Rochester Oratorio Society as well as the opportunity to perform with Rochester Lyric Opera.

Then, fourteen young singer-actors from the United States and Europe will compete for the top prize in the finals of the 2015 Lotte Lenya competition, which will be held at the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall on Saturday, April 18. 

We preview both contests with our guests:

  • Kim Kowalke, professor of musicology at Eastman School of Music
  • Rebecca Luker, three-time Tony nominee and Lotte Lenya judge
  • Eric Townell, Rochester Oratorio Society artistic director
  • Constance Fee, Classical Idol judge
  • Julia Figueras, midday host, Classical 91.5 FM