Kara McLeland | Nashville Public Radio

Kara McLeland

Classical Music Host

A Wyoming native, Kara relocated to Tennessee in 2005 to earn an undergraduate degree in voice performance and composition from Belmont University and a master’s degree in musicology from MTSU.

In addition to hosting on Classical 91.1, she has taught courses in music history and appreciation at Belmont and MTSU. She is also a singer-songwriter, an active member of the Nashville theatre community, and a lover of photography, books, and dogs. She and her husband Ryan live in Nashville with their daughter, Rooney, and goldendoodle, Wallace. 

 

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Tonight begins the eight nights of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Many of the greatest composers in classical music history were Jewish, and many expressed their heritage through the music they composed. To celebrate each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, here are eight classical pieces on Jewish themes.

Image courtesy Robbie Lynn Hunsinger

"Gorgeous," "stunning" and “so wrong.” These are the words that artist Robbie Lynn Hunsinger uses to describe her experience of the total solar eclipse this past August. She says she watched the awe-inspiring and eerie event from one of the best spots in town: a hillside next to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Image courtesy the Nashville Symphony

Nashville Symphony’s Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager, Sonja Winkler, has been chosen to participate in the 2017-2018 The League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program. After a competitive application process, Winkler was one of only 12 applicants recognized for their potential to “make significant contributions to their orchestra and to the field as a whole,” as stated on the League of American Orchestras website.

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Thanksgiving is upon us. For many Americans, the holiday means lots of food, lots of football and lots of time with family (for better or for worse). To accompany all your Turkey Day activities, whatever they may be, we’ve put together a holiday-appropriate playlist to suit your needs:

For early rising (and last-minute grocery shopping)

Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra: The Harvest Home Suite Overture

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500 years ago today, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, airing his grievances against the Roman Catholic Church and sparking the Protestant Reformation.

Changes within the church also brought changes in religious music-making, and with Luther came the rise of the chorale. These Protestant hymns showcased some of the biggest departures from music in the Catholic church: a focus on congregational singing, texts in German rather than Latin and melodies often borrowed from secular songs. 

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It's officially the spookiest time of year: the cobwebs are hung and the candy is ready... now for the music. Nashville has no shortage of Halloween-themed performances leading up to All Hallows' Eve, and classical music fans can celebrate in macabre style with a ballet about a suspected murderess, a chamber opera from the perspective of a madman, a live organ performance underscoring the creepiest silent film of all time and more. Just try not to get too scared:  

Lizzie Borden with The Raven at Nashville Ballet

Image courtesy YouTube

Picture the scene: the conductor raises the baton, orchestra at the ready. Shifting in their velvet seats, the audience watches the soloist with baited breath. The downbeat happens, and across the ornate auditorium rings out the first few notes from… an electric guitar? 

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This weekend, the Nashville Ballet opens their season with Tchaikovsky's iconic The Sleeping Beauty. The work is considered the zenith of classic ballet, and all three of Tchaikovsky’s ballets—Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker—have become beloved giants in the modern dance world, described by arts writer Maxim Boon as having been “reinvented, reappropriated, made-over, dumbed-down and spruced-up more than any other work in the canon of the art form.”

Courtesy of Kip Winger

Kip Winger has a career that many aspiring rockers dream of. Early on, he toured as a bassist with Alice Cooper and performed and recorded with rock legends like Alan Parsons, Bob Dylan and Roger Daltrey. In the late 80s, he struck out on his own, forming the eponymous band Winger and selling millions of albums worldwide.

NASA / nasa.gov

Even though Johann Sebastian Bach died centuries before rocket launches and space exploration began, he has still managed to travel farther from earth than any astronaut. Or, at least his music has.

40 years ago, NASA launched Voyager 1 and 2, spacecraft meant to explore the outer reaches of our solar system and beyond. Launched September 5th, 1977, Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to cross into interstellar space in 2012. It is now nearly 13 billion miles from Earth.

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