Public Radio Music Day

Public Radio is about connections. Connecting thoughts, experiences, expressions, struggles. Connecting communities.     

Thursday, April 16th marks the first ever Public Radio Music Day, where stations across the U.S. highlight and celebrate the role that public radio plays in bringing local voices and musicians a place to share their  artistic visions. Each station will celebrate differently, and the noncomMUSIC Alliance has posted a map of participating public radio station events at

WKAR will be checking in with local artists and cultural institutions throughout the day on April 16th and we’ll collect those interviews below.

In addition, our local classical hours of 9am-4pm will consist of performances made here in Michigan and by Michiganders. Our participation in Public Radio Music Day is to help foster a better understanding that we’re one station in a Network of public radio stations with shared values and championing music locally and nationally.

Wharton Center at night photo
Courtesy photo / Wharton Center - wikimedia

For this April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR has been checking in with various arts and cultural leaders to see how they and their organizations are doing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and many cancelled performances in Michigan and beyond. Mike reflected on some of the difficulties involved with coordinating many shifting schedules, but also looking forward to a bit of hope, by way of preparing to announce the upcoming 2020-21 Wharton Center season next month.

Courtesy: Dr. Aubin

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR has been checking in with local arts and cultural leaders across mid-Michigan. Dr. Matthew Aubin is Music Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the JSO's Community Music School at Weatherwax Hall. He spoke with WKAR's Jamie Paisley about the challenges facing both organizations as well as the potentially extra-wise timeliness of the JSO's Weatherwax Hall. Plus, the delayed return of Maestro Stephen Osmond to the JSO podium.

Jim Forger at microphone
w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR is checking in with various arts and cultural leaders across mid-Michigan. Dean James Forger heads up the Michigan State University College of Music and he spoke with WKAR's Jamie Paisley via Zoom to talk about the logistical challenges the college faced, as well as the postponement for opening the Billman Pavillion, a multi-million dollar project which was scheduled to open in mid-April. The conversation below broadcast on WKAR April 16th, 2020 at 1pm.

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR is bringing stories of local arts and cultural organizations in Michigan and how they are weathering this strange time in history. The Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys were in the midst of celebrating 30 years of performances, and the incorporation of a new concert series honoring a late young chorister, as well as a new Associate Director flying over from Belfast, Ireland for a concert, as director Scott Bosscher told WKAR's Jody Knol on this April 16th interview broadcast at Noon.

One this April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, we are checking in with arts leaders in the Mid-Michigan area and check up on them during this time to Social Distancing and COVID-19. So, Jody Knol reached out to a retired voice from WKAR, former host/Program Director - Gene Purdum. Original broadcast on WKAR April 16th at 11am.

Timothy Muffitt photo
Courtesy: Timothy Muffitt / Lansing Symphony Orchestra

April 16th, 2020 marks the inaugural Public Radio Music Day. Stations across the U.S. will be celebrating our local music makers. We at WKAR also want to know how these artists are doing during this very difficult time. The following is the interview Jody Knol made with the Music Director of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra which aired on WKAR April 16th at 10am.

Jamie Paisley | WKAR

On April 16th, Public Radio Music Stations are celebrating local musicians. For WKAR, we are also checking in with arts leaders around Mid-Michigan. Richard Sherman is one such person with many hats and connections to the MSU College of Music, the Lansing and Jackson Symphonies, the Chatauqua Institute, and his own Absolute Music Chamber Series of concerts. WKAR's Jody Knol spoke with him in this interview which aired on WKAR on April 16th, 2020 at 9am.

Greg Nagy photo
Courtesy photo

At many stations across the U.S., today is Public Radio Music Day. WKAR is joining in, and Scott Pohl has this report on how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are affecting local musicians.