Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Night in Vermont

Ring in the new year with music, poetry, crafts and all sorts of merriment for the whole family! VPR is collaborating with First Night festivities across the state.
Here are a list of websites for First Night Celebrations in Vermont.

Saint Johnsbury

From all of us at VPR - Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Help Us Start The New Year Strong

Vermont Public Radio strives to bring you programming that connects you with your community. The programming respects your intelligence and sparks new ideas and conversations.

You and other caring members of our community provide the financial support that makes Vermont Public Radio such an important and independent voice in the region.

Your year-end contribution today helps ensure the bright future of YOUR public radio station.

Your support is vital: Last year, contributions from our members made up nearly half of our annual budget! Please make your year-end gift online, send your check by mail to the address below, or phone in your gift at 1-800-639-6391.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, gifts to Vermont Public Radio received by December 31st will qualify for the 2011 tax benefit on your tax forms.

Thank you so much, and all the best to you in the new year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Download Favor Johnson And A Pair Of (Good) Fruitcake Recipes

Commentator Willem Lange’s story “Favor Johnson” has been a holiday tradition on Vermont Public Radio for more than a decade. It’s the heart-warming story of a Vermont farmer, his dog Hercules, homemade fruitcake, and the real spirit of Christmas.

You can hear “Favor Johnson” on VPR this Saturday, December 24th at 9:20 a.m., or you can download the story here to enjoy with your family whenever you like.

And, because we just know the tale will whet your appetite for fruitcake, we’ve provided a pair of (good, we promise!) fruitcake recipes; this one from our own Ty Robertson and Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville of the New England Culinary Institute.

You’ll find our full holiday programming schedule online here.

Finally, because VPR is your constant companion during the holidays and throughout the year, I hope you’ll make a year-end gift to VPR today. Your contribution will insure another great year of in-depth news, stories, and music on VPR and VPR Classical.

Thank you so much for listening and for your support.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Message From VPR President Robin Turnau

2011 has been quite a year! On behalf of all of us at Vermont Public Radio, I just wanted to say thank you for listening to and supporting VPR. 

In my 2011 President’s Letter, I share some of the accomplishments that listener support made possible over the past year, including:

Unprecedented news coverage after Tropical Storm Irene

The launch of VPR’s Public Post

More than 50 live performances and interviews on VPR Classical

Click here to read the full letter.

At a time when newsrooms are shrinking and classical music is disappearing from the radio, Vermont Public Radio is more essential and relevant than ever. These achievements could not have been possible without the support of our listeners.

Please make your year-end gift to Vermont Public Radio today to pay for another great year of news, music, and community service.

Thanks for all you do for your public radio station. I wish you the best for the season and all of us at Vermont Public Radio look forward to serving you and your community in 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

George Thomas Remembers Dave Sanjek

A friend died recently who was directly responsible for my start & style in radio. Dave Sanjek was on WCNI in the fall of 1972 at Connecticut College For Women (the year the school went co-ed) doing a jazz radio show. He was playing absolutely amazing selections but talking for what seemed like a half hour between each cut. I called him up at the station and said something to the effect of, “you're playing great music, man, but you talk too much." He got off the air at the end of his show, asked around and found out who I was and showed up at my dorm room with a stack of LPs under his arm.

We started listening to what was, at the time, very rare jazz, delicious stuff, and then he noticed the photos all over my walls from The Farm & Wilderness Camps in Vermont where I had been a camp counselor that summer . It was an instant trade. He found the summer camps of his dreams, I got a start in radio and a lifetime education in music: jazz, Holy Modal Rounders, Dave Van Ronk, on and on. We also shared a love of poetry. He gave me Living/Dying by Cid Corman and Hayden Carruth's great poetry anthology The Voice That Is Great Within Us.

In my 39th year of radio, I think of him every show I do. Thank you Dave for all of it: the 20 page catch-up letters with writing so dense you could walk on it; your dad’s record collection; your mother’s exquisite Chinese cooking; the joy of an obscure movie. You shared it all. I miss you terribly. And yes, Oliver Nelson’s solos on Blues And The Abstract Truth were the best.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Locally-Made Tables For VPR's Conference Room

VPR is a proud member of the VBSR Marketplace, a program of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont Sustainable Exchange. The VBSR Marketplace is an online business-to-business e-commerce and online payment system. We've been using the Marketplace for more than a year now to help keep our costs down while working with local, socially-responsible businesses.

When we were recently looking for tables for our conference room, we found the Vermont Woodworking School and Rachel Brydolf-Horwitz, who is a big VPR fan and wanted to craft our tables as her final project. The tables, made of solid maple, arrived today - and they are gorgeous. Thanks so much, Rachel, and to the VBSR Marketplace for helping us find each other!

Love For Love

Who loves Darlene Love more than My Place Host Joel Najman? Probably no one. His devotion to her as a performer goes back all the way to the beginning. And his cover story for this week's Seven Days is testament to that love of Love. You can read the whole article here.

And if you have your tickets for her concert "Love for the Holidays" on December 14th at the Flynn Center be sure to get there early for Joel's pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. in the Hoehl Studio Lab on the 3rd floor.

Vermont Public Radio is a proud media sponsor for this event. Don't have tickets yet? Da Do Ron Ron over to to get them now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

VPR News Special Calculates “The Irene Effect”

From Senior Reporter Steve Zind:

Just below me on my Braintree road, there’s a strip of land where a neighbor’s house stood before being destroyed in Tropical Storm Irene. For me that spot, empty but for some scattered household belongings, is a daily reminder of the incredible loss some Vermonters experienced in the storm and how, months afterward, many people are still living with the devastating floods of August 28th.

That ongoing struggle is one of the messages of “The Irene Effect” airing on VPR next Wednesday, December 14th at noon and 7 p.m. Producer Lynne McCrea and I have been visiting individuals and communities changed by the storm and we’ve been listening to the dozens of stories VPR reporters have done in the past several months, tallying the effects and the lessons of Irene.

“The Irene Effect” tells many stories: The young couple whose lost farm can’t be replaced, a mother who found the strength to speak out on behalf of mobile home owners after her own home was inundated, and a community that discovered it could take care of its own when Irene cut it off from the outside world.

We also take you out on our roads and rivers, to see how they’ve been rebuilt and reshaped, and find out if we’re better protected from future storms.

“The Irene Effect” takes stock of where Vermont stands nearly four months after the historic flood. I hope you can check it out Wednesday, December 14th at noon and 7 p.m. on VPR, Saturday December 17th at 4 p.m., Wednesday the 28th at 9 a.m., and online at

Photo Credits: AP/Tony Talbot,

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Boston Symphony Orchestra Comes To VPR Classical

VPR Classical will take you to Boston's Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoons. One of the world's great orchestras begins a new broadcast series and VPR Classical is one of only a handful of stations in the country to bring it to you.

Listen Sunday afternoon at one for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, followed at three by Performance Today Weekend.

Ron Della Chiesa is your host for the 60th Anniversary Season of the BSO from WGBH in Boston. Founded in 1881, the BSO is one of America’s “Big Five” orchestras, performing at Boston’s Symphony Hall and, during the summer months, at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Thanks to WGBH and Classical New England for partnering with Vermont Public Radio to bring these live performances to VPR Classical listeners. You’ll hear emerging and established guest conductors, extraordinary soloists and enduring repertoire.

Listen for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Sundays at 1 on VPR Classical. This week, Jonathan Biss is the soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4.

At 3 0'clock, hear Performance Today Weekend with Fred Child. Performance Today features performances from around the world as well as interviews and classical music news. Listen weekdays 1-3pm and now, Sundays at 3.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Met On VPR Classical

The Metropolitan Opera's 81st radio broadcast season gets underway this Saturday at half past noon with Handel's Rodelinda, featuring soprano Renee Fleming.

The season continues with an exciting production of Gounod's Faust, with tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. He knocked us out last season as Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walkure, which he'll do again in April. Wagner fans have Gotterdammerung and Siegfried to look forward to in February and April, as well.

On December 17, Popular Italian repertory begins with Puccini's Madama Butterfly, conducted by Placido Domingo. New Hampshire native Patricia Racette will be Puccini's Tosca on January 28.

Join us for the Met every Saturday on VPR Classical. The majority of programs start at 1, right after A Passion for Opera with Peter Fox Smith. Click here for details. And for information about where to see The Metropolitan Opera live in HD at a local theatre, click here.

Patricia Racette as Tosca stands over the fallen Scarpia in Puccini's "Tosca."

Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera (c) 2010