Rachel Katz

WWFM Production Manager and Host of A Tempo

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.

From an early age, Rachel Katz earned a reputation in her family for both sharing stories (a “town-crier” of sorts) and also sitting back while older family members shared theirs, taking it all in as a quiet observer.  Rachel pursued degrees in history at The University of Connecticut and Russian/Soviet studies and journalism at the University of Michigan, which soon set her on the path as a foreign correspondent in the early and mid-1990s. She worked in St. Petersburg, Russia, for three years, writing for UPI, The St. Petersburg Press, AP and The Moscow Times, as well as a variety of other  US national and regional publications. Back in the US, she worked at The Connecticut Post and as business editor of The (Norwalk) Hour before moving to Bloomberg News, where she covered retail and other business news.

Interested in exploring radio, she took broadcast classes and landed a job at The Classical Network as a production assistant and the opportunity to produce her own public affairs program, Views and Voices. As host and producer now of A Tempo, she brings her storytelling and reporter experience – and her love of music - to the world of arts and culture, exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the music world today.

In addition to playing violin with the Westminster Community Orchestra, Rachel enjoys fencing, birdwatching and salsa/swing/ballroom dancing.

Ways to Connect

Allison Vulgamore, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, this week announced her plans to step down at the end of December, when her contract expires. During her tenure, she led the orchestra through bankruptcy proceedings and oversaw the expansion of community engagement initiatives, including its HEAR (Health, Education, Access and Research) program. This week on A Tempo (6/24), host Rachel Katz interviews Vulgamore about her legacy and the orchestra's next steps.

A Tempo: June 17

Jun 17, 2017

A Tempo begins an occasional series about challenges and opportunities facing young musicians. This week, host Rachel Katz speaks with Ed Yim, president of the American Composers Orchestra. Also on this show - an interview with Jonathan Palant, founder and conductor of the Dallas Street Choir, which recently made its Carnegie Hall debut, and choir member Carmelo Cabrera.

Since joining the Dallas Street Choir in April of 2016, Carmelo Cabrera has found a new source of hope as he struggles to navigate the challenges of being homeless.

"Singing - it allows me to say, hey, I really am somebody, and my voice does count, and I can be heard," said Cabrera, who along with other members of the choir made their Carnegie Hall debut this past Wednesday.

A Tempo this week begins an occasional series looking at some of the challenges facing emerging artists and as well as some of the resources available to help them launch their careers. This week, host Rachel Katz will speak with Ed Yim, president of the American Composers Orchestra, about its upcoming Career Development Workshop designed to provide young composers with some guidance on developing their career plans. Tune in Saturday at 7 pm.

The effort to keep Westminster Choir College intact and on its Princeton campus as Rider University seeks a buyer for the institution received a boost this week, as former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean Sr. stepped up as an honorary chairman of the movement.

Westminster Choir College Professor James Jordan presents some of the recent research about the science of the human voice and how it can be applied to choral singing and teaching in the new book, The Anatomy of Tone, written together with some of his colleagues, and this week on A Tempo (Saturday 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will chat with him about some of these findings. Jordan will also discuss two of his other upcoming books - The Conductor as Prism, and Inside the Choral Rehearsal.

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Enrique Mazzola conducts this performance of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor from Lyric Opera of Chicago, featuring Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia), Piotr Beczala (Edgardo), Quinn Kelsey (Enrico) and Adrian  Sâmpetrean (Raimondo). Join us Sunday at 3 pm.

Then stay tuned as Michael Kownacky brings you more music from Donizetti, including the one-act opera Rita and dances from Les Martyrs.

When Linda Grenis was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the things that kept her going following surgery and through treatment was her yoga class. 

Two and a half years later, Grenis stands in tree pose on a yoga mat midstage with several dancers from Roxey Ballet, re-enacting that experience through music in an upcoming production of We Vs C: Personal Stories of Triumph, which weaves together the words, stories and emotions of 22 survivors through music, art and dance.

Vee Popat

Performers from 15 US high school jazz ensembles, and one from Cuba, came together last weekend to share performances and learn from mentors during Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition and Festival. Among those bands coming out at the top was Newark Academy's (Livingston, NJ) Chameleon big band, which received honorable mention. The band was also honored for Outstanding Rhythm Section and Outstanding Reed Section, and several of its musicians received individual recognition.

Music schools and conservatories face constant challenges, from attracting students and offering relevant curricula to seeking out funding to support their endeavors. This week on A Tempo (5/13), host Rachel Katz takes a look at an upcoming leadership conference sponsored by the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, featuring a roundtable with some of the conference participants: Jamal J.

This week on A Tempo, host Rachel Katz interviews Theodore Ziolkowski, Princeton Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature, about his new book, "Music into Fiction" (Boydell and Brewer). The book explores the relationship between the musical and literary arts as displayed by figures such as Robert Schumann, ETA Hoffman and Anthony Burgess, and also examines literary works whose structures were based on musical forms, or featured a musical work as its main theme.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Amy Beach was the first woman composer to have a piece performed by a major symphony orchestra. As organizations celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth this year, A Tempo explores her career and her impact on American music. Host Rachel Katz speaks with Liane Curtis, president and founder of Women's Philharmonic Advocacy.

Carlin Ma

Music schools and conservatories are constantly facing new challenges in ensuring their students are prepared to create successful careers in the ever-changing world of music. A Tempo host Rachel Katz checks in with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, whose recent additions and innovations include a Roots, Jazz and American Music program. Rachel will interview SFCM President David Stull and Simon Rowe, executive director of the Roots, Jazz and American Music program.

Anne Sears

As students at Westminster Choir College rehearse Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize Winning oratorio Anthracite Fields, A Tempo recently looked at how the performance at the Roebling Wireworks brings together the work's exploration of life in Pennsylvania coal mining communities and the industrial history of cities like Trenton.

A Tempo (April 8) explores the creation of the American Repertory Ballet's Pride and Prejudice by Artistic Director Douglas Martin. The work will be performed later this month at McCarter Theatre, with the score performed by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Host Rachel Katz speaks with Martin about how he chose the music and approached the libretto and choreography to bring Jane Austen's story to the ballet stage.

Rider University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to find a buyer for Westminster Choir College that will enable the college to continue its musical and educational legacy, a decision that was music to the ears of students and alumni who feared that the college’s programs might be merged onto the main Rider campus or closed down completely.

(Update: Corrects name of director of choral activities)

Students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered on the campus of Rider University Tuesday morning to rally in support of  Westminster Choir College as Rider’s Board of Trustees met to vote on the future of the institution’s.

“I just learned, grew and thrived at this place, and to see this situation even being considered just breaks my heart,” said junior Jade Blocker, who stood with a sign that read “Hear Our Voices!  Keep Westminster in Princeton!”

Supporters of preserving Westminster Choir College’s Princeton, NJ home are making a final push to prevent Rider University from moving the college to its Lawrenceville campus in advance of a vote that might put the Princeton land up for sale.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with Ted Wiprud, Vice President of Education at the New York Philharmonic, and Barbara Haws, the Philharmonic's Archivist and Historian, about the orchestra's New World Initiative - a city-wide exploration of Dvorak's New World Symphony. The program includes news highlights from around the world of the performing arts.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with the co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), about the Trump Administration's proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; Matthew Shaftel, Dean of Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts, discusses how NEA funding has supported some recent Westminster programs.

A Tempo catches up with Timothy O'Leary, general director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and composer Philip Glass, whose opera, The Trial, will have its US premiere during the Festival. This week's program also includes other news headlines from the week.

Opera Philadelphia recently announced the details of its inaugural 017 Festival, as 12-day festival featuring performances of five productions in diverse venues. A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with Opera Philadelphia's Vice President of Artistic Operations, David Levy, and New Works Administrator, Sarah Williams. Plus the week's news headlines.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2017-2018 season includes a crowd-sourced project called Philadelphia Voices, a Leonard Bernstein centenary and more. A Tempo host Rachel Katz interviews Jeremy Rothman, the orchestra's vice president of artistic planning.

This week's show also includes the week's news highlights and an interview with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst about the role NEA funding plays in its programming and community engagement programs.

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