WWFM brings live music to Mercer County Community College with broadcast concerts double-bill

WWFM The Classical Network will present a pair of live concert broadcasts from the Black Box Theater on the West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College (MCCC) on July 24.

During the past five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classical music concerts have not been possible for the safety of musicians and audiences alike. With strict guidelines in place for safety and social distancing, this double bill of live concert broadcasts represents the second and third such events presented as a gift to the community from WWFM and MCCC.

WWFM The Classical Network, now in its 38th year of broadcasting, is a national leader for broadcasting live concerts and concerts recorded live, most notably with its weekday Noontime Concerts series, plus Friday evening concerts at 8 p.m. and a host of specialty-themed programs, featuring world class classical music ensembles, musicians, venues and festivals throughout this region and across the country, according to a prepared statement.

This broadcast initiative is one major reason The Classical Network has been a two-time recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Radio Broadcast Award (2014 and 2017).

This Friday at noon, The Classical Network will present its second live concert broadcast from Mercer County Community College, this time featuring locally based, internationally acclaimed American concert pianist, Clipper Erickson in a program of music by Canadian American composer of African descent, Nathaniel Dett, composer and pianist, Laurie Altman, and Beethoven, whose 250th birthday anniversary is celebrated this year worldwide. Clipper Erickson currently teaches at Westminster Conservatory of Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, and at Temple University, Philadelphia.

Later in the evening at 8 p.m., WWFM will welcome another long-time musical partner, composer, conductor, pianist, author and commentator, Rob Kapilow, host of What Makes It Great, one of WWFM’s popular programs. Since Kapilow cannot present his programs in front of live, New York City audiences at this time, he has agreed to perform at Mercer County Community College’s Black Box Theater, without a live audience, according to the statement. Kapilow will regale WWFM’s radio audience with music of two birthday anniversary composers whose celebrations are being lost in the pandemic, Beethoven and Sondheim. The two-hour program will feature Kapilow’s distinctive and energetic What Makes It Great demonstrations, for which he is well-known, including a look at songs by great American songbook composers.

“We see these live concerts initiatives as an innovative plan to help keep the arts alive during the COVID pandemic and to improve the quality of life through music for the residents of Mercer County, its surrounding communities, and to those beyond our terrestrial broadcast region. WWFM has been successfully broadcasting concerts for years under the collective title of Celebrating Our Musical Community. With the continued support of our parent institution, Mercer County Community College, we’re delighted to bring the best in classical music programming to our listeners, even with the challenges the pandemic has presented,” said Alice Weiss, station manager, in the statement.

She added, “We hope these live concerts will bring a sense of excitement and joy, knowing that classical music is a very important part of life for many people, and that WWFM is committed to help keep classical music available at the touch of your radio button, or the click of your mouse or command to your smart speaker. Hopefully, these live performance experiences will, once again, bring us all closer together through music.”

WWFM is located on the West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College where The Classical Network is heard on 89.1. WWFM The Classical Network is heard on eight additional radio frequencies throughout New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and portions of Delaware, Maryland and Colorado, and via Internet streaming at wwfm.org. WWFM also broadcasts JazzOn2, a jazz and information station on its HD2 channel, WWFM-HD2-89.1. For a list of all radio frequencies visit wwfm.org. For more information, email info@wwfm.org.