Communique with Gina Gambony

Monday - Friday at 8:50 am and 4:44 pm on 91.3 and at noon on 92.7

Gina Gambony hosts Communique, a daily feature exploring arts, events, and ideas in the Cape Fear Region. She interviews artists, actors, dancers, writers and creators of community happenings—all the inspiring movers and shakers who enrich our lives.

Communique airs on 91.3 FM during Morning Edition at 8:50 am, on All Things Considered at 4:44 pm, and on Classical HQR 92.7 at noon.

Please send requests for interviews to classical@whqr.org.

Keegan Lester/instagram

Poet Keegan Lester is on a tour with his collection of poetry called this shouldn't be beautiful but it was & it was all i had so i drew it. This collection was published by Slope Editions after Keegan won the 2016 Slope Editions Book Prize. He's on a 28-date tour with the book, mostly sharing readings and signing books in bars and other locations outside the walls of academia. Keegan earned his MFA in Poetry at Columbia University, but this tour seems to represent a break with the university system he criticizes for constraining emerging poets through unyielding and outdated definitions of poetry. Listen above.

Aleks Karjaka

The New York Times calls him "gifted"; the Wall Street Journal says his performance is "dazzling." The LA Times proclaims him as "the next big organ talent." He hasn't hit 30 yet, but young Christopher Houlihan is taking the organ world by storm, and he's performing in Wilmington on Friday, March 10 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He drew a great deal of attention when he performed all 6 of Louis Vierne's organ symphonies in 2012, and he'll play excerpts (Scherzo, Cantabile, & Allegro) from Vierne's 2nd Symphony on Friday night, plus Vierne's Carillon de Westminster, J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto, and César Franck's Choral II in B minor

Nick Szuberla, Executive Director of Working Narratives, and the Lead Artist, Rend Smith, joined us to talk about a project they are doing in Wilmington: Free Movement. The key part of this project is the part public art event/part sustainable community building group called Black Man Running 5K. The group meets (and runs/walks) weekly, but on Saturday, March 11, 9:00am-4:00pm, they are throwing a big event at Hugh MacRae Park

Bestselling author Taylor Brown has received a lot of attention for his work over the last few years. In 2016, he published a collection of short stories called In the Season of Blood and Gold, which received high praise and was a finalist for an International Book Award short story prize. His first novel, Fallen Land, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and the Library Journal. I spoke with Taylor about his 2nd and latest unreleased novel The River of Kings. This book has already  received glowing praise from established authors.

Opera House Theatre Company

Get your umbrella-it's going to be Raining Men at Thalian Hall this weekend (and through March 12) with the premiere of the disco-drenched spectacle, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. You may have seen or heard of this 1994 film, but this is the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2011. When the rights were opened up to community theaters, Opera House Theatre Company jumped on it. One cast member told me that the show is "thought-provoking and fabulously entertaining." Director/Choreographer Ray Kennedy agrees; listen above to Ray and actress/singer Michelle Braxton talk about the show and see photos below.

WHQR/gg

Kelly Rae Williams is an advocate for racial and gender equality and a poet. Her recent manuscript, Outside the Cannon: Poetry as Protest will be published soon; meanwhile, Kelly Rae is giving a sneak peek of some of her new work tonight (2/28) at Pomegranate Books at 7:00. I spoke with Kelly Rae for nearly an hour, but her work can speak for itself better than an interview...Listen above to Kelly Rae share one of her poems about actress Raven-Symoné. The poem was inspired by Raven's assertion that she isn't African-American on Oprah Winfrey

walkerworldnc.com

Superstar Academy provides theatrical education for students and adults through outreach in schools, afterschool classes, and through the special program Theatre for All!, Wilmington's only theatre program for people of all ages with developmental disabilities. These classes are given at no- or low-cost to participants...but the work does cost money. That's why Superstar Academy is having a fundraiser. Zach Hanner, the Artistic Director, is throwing a Luau at Walker World this Saturday, March 4th for just this purpose. 

Carole Osman

Amy Grant, the owner and manager of Art in Bloom Gallery, paired two artists for her latest exhibit: Catching the Spirit: Images by Mark Gansor and Carole Osman. Gansor's paintings include realistic acrylic buildings, gardens, and fields, while Osman presents pastel, monoprint, collage, oil, and acrylic work.  The opening reception for this exhibit is Friday, 2/24, part of 4th Friday Gallery Walk, 6:00pm-9:00pm. 

WHQR/gg

The dress may smell like roasting marshmallows...I spoke with 2 teenagers and a man named Scooter for 30 minutes, and I'm still not sure if there are marshmallows in this dress--this dress made of books, and some other stuff, for a very special design contest. It's the 3rd Annual Fashion Design Contest for teens called Fiction to Fashion. Scooter Hayes, the Youth Services Librarian in New Hanover County, is the leader of this interesting project. He joined us along with 2 contestants: teenagers Ashley Bennette and Theo Townend. Listen above. 

WHQR/gg

Photographer Arrow Ross recently returned from India with photos of the work being done by Homes of Hope India, an organization helping "the poorest of the poor," founded by Wilmington Philanthropist Paul Wilkes. This is the second time Arrow has photographed Homes of Hope projects in the works. One-hundred twenty photos documenting his recent trip are on display at CFCC's Wilma Daniels Gallery, with an artist opening reception on Friday, 2/24, 6:00pm-9:00pm. The photographs will hang through March 24th, with a closing reception then. Arrow Ross and Paul Wilkes will be at the receptions. 

WHQR/gg

The Coastal Carolina Cabaret has a Mardi Gras theme this year. Pianist/accordionist Al DiMarco is introducing his new band at the party: Al DiMarco's Big Fat Accordion Band, with Al on accordion, Benny Hill on saxophone, Paul Lewis on baritone sax, and David Toma playing drums.

Physicist Brian Cox/BBC Human Universe

UNCW Chemistry Professor Jimmy Reeves has been teaching for 40 years. He says science is neither as well-understood nor as respected as it ought to be in modern-day America. Dr. Reeves wants to promote a deeper understanding of the scientific method and the current state of scientific research that even lay people will appreciate. That's why Dr.

Horszowski Trio
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco/BesenArts

This Sunday is the 3rd concert in Chamber Music Wilmington's (CMW) Simply Classical series. Pat Marriott is a longtime supporter of CMW (and a voice you'll hear on Classical HQR). Listen above to hear Pat talk about the Horszowski Trio and the music the group brings to Wilmington. Particularly interesting is Pat's insight into composer Rebecca Clarke and why he can't wait to hear her trio performed. 

saintlaurentthemovie

Parlez-vous francais? No? It's okay if you don't speak French. You can still enjoy the 3rd Tournées Film Festival featuring French films free of charge next week at CFCC's Union Station, corner of Front & Red Cross Streets. All the films have subtitles. Caroline Hudson, from France, has spearheaded this festival for the past 3 years. The sponsor is the FACE FoundationFrench-American Cultural Exchange. Listen to Caroline and film instructor Lucinda McNamara talk about the quality of French films and the selections for this year's festival. Here is the schedule, featuring 5 new films and one classic:

pickingcottonbook.com

In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was raped. She spent enough time with the rapist to identify him in a line-up and he was quickly convicted and put behind bars. His name is Ronald Cotton. It wasn't until 11 years later that Jennifer discovered she had picked the wrong man in the line-up. He was exonerated by DNA evidence. Listen to Thompson talk about how this experience impacted her life above.

WHQR/gg

Big Dawg Productions is kicking off the 2017 season with Crimes of the Heart, the Tony-nominated, Pulitzer Prize-winning Southern Gothic tragi-comedy about 3 eccentric sisters dealing with old and new crises. The director and lead actress from the show are recent Wilmington Theatre Award-winners: director Holli Saperstein (Best Actress, Becoming Dr. Ruth) and Mickey Johnson (Best Supporting Actress, Beauty & the Beast). Saperstein and Johnson joined us to talk about the show; listen above. Johnson is playing Babe, the youngest sister in Crimes of the Heart. She's joined onstage by Susan Auten, Jamie Harwood, Erin Hunter, Bradley Coxe, and Josh Bailey. 

WHQR/gg

Most people can hardly remember experiences they had in their first 2000 days of life-roughly birth to a little past 5 years old. But behavioral and developmental research, plus developments in neuroscience and molecular biology, have been pointing to how experiences in the first 2000 days can affect the trajectory of a child's life. According to Dr. Jack Shokoff, the Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, early childhood experiences are the foundation of all the problems societies face. Read about the brain research here

Cape Fear Guardian ad Litem Association (CFGALA) is seeking more volunteers to advocate for abused, neglected, and dependent children in the court system. According to veteran Guardian Lynn Fender, the number of children in need of Guardians continues to rise-exponentially. CFGALA is holding 2 open houses for people interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer in New Hanover and Pender counties on Monday, February 13. The information sessions are 11:30am-1:00pm and 5:30pm-7:00pm at 320 Chestnut Street, Suite 618 in downtown Wilmington. Listen to Lynne above to hear more. 

feastdowneast

Feast Down East is a Wilmington non-profit organization with the mission to create a healthy, accessible local food system that supports economic growth in southeastern North Carolina. Its signature yearly event is the Local Food Conference, which is upon us: tomorrow (Friday, 2/10) at UNCW's Burney Center. Feast Down East's Associate Director Sarah Daniels explains the work the organization does all year round, plus shares what she's most excited about at the Food Conference, above. 

paulapoundstone.com

WEB EXTRA: This is an excerpt of a conversation between WHQR's Gina Gambony and comedian/author Paula Poundstone regarding technology. Paula Poundstone is performing at the Wilson Center on Friday, February 10th at 8:00pm. 

Comedian and author Paula Poundstone is performing in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday, February 10th  at the Wilson Center downtown at 8:00pm. WHQR's Gina Gambony spoke with Paula on the telephone about her cats, happiness, and her new book. Listen above or read below.

scottstevenscavaliers.com

Scott Stevens & the Cavaliers wasn't just a run-of-the-mill 1950s doo-wop band. The group was one of the first racially integrated bands of the era. Stephen Glaser (with stage name Scott Stevens) was the only white person in the band by the end. Plus he's Jewish. After much encouragement, including from a fortune cookie, Glaser wrote a book about his mid-century time with the Cavaliers: White Boy: A Rock & Roll Story. Glaser will be at Barnes & Noble Mayfaire in Wilmington on Saturday, February 11, 2:00pm-5:00pm to sign copies of his book. Listen to him talk about what motivated him to write (and hear a little snippet of the music) above. 

WHQR/gg

Wilmington's Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence (BRC) is having its 4th Annual Breakfast. Middle of the Island is catering the event Wednesday, 2/8 at Coastline Convention Center, 7:30am-9:00am. The BRC is focused on identifying and addressing the causes of youth violence, particularly in the Youth Enrichment Zone, about 140 square blocks on the north side of downtown Wilmington. Listen above to Executive Director Jana Jones Halls talk about the mission and work of the BRC.

Opera Wilmington just announced its summer production for this year: Georges Bizet's Carmen. But before that happens, Opera Wilmington presents a Valentine performance called Spark & Fire: Love in Words and Music. The concert is this Sunday, February 12 at 4:00pm at Beckwith Recital Hall. There are over a dozen singers performing a wide variety of music at this concert with champagne and a sweet treat at intermission. Artistic Director (and soprano) Nancy King and baritone Carl Samet joined us; listen above. Near the end of interview, hear Carl sing a few lines from his favorite country tune.

Justin Lacy

Singer/songwriters Justin Lacy and Sarah Royal met last January and quickly started a duo: Slow Dance. To celebrate their first year together making music, Justin and Sarah are releasing an EP this Sunday, February 5 at Gravity Records, 1:00pm-4:00pm. Sara Beck and Emma Nelson will open for Slow Dance at the release party, plus there will be treats from Rx and a Margarita bar. The self-titled EP is only being released on 50 old-school cassette tapes. 

Vince Stout, a native Wilmingtonian, studied music at East Carolina University. He often plays his major instrument on Wilmington stages-the double bass-but his other love is steel pan. After finding a mentor and mastering the performance of playing and making steel pans, Vince formed the steel pan group, Sea Pans, back in 2000. Depending on the performance, the number of players can be 1 to 20, and there are different types of pans they can play. Four performers are playing at the kick-off of the 37th Annual NC Jazz Festival tonight (Thursday) at 7:30pm: Jazz ala Trinidad.

wilmingtonwineandchocolate

It's time for the 14th Annual Wine & Chocolate Festival. Lead Festival Coordinator Marianna Stacy joined us to talk about this 3-day indoor festival happening this weekend, February 3-5, at the Coastline Event Center. Friday night is the Grand Tasting, a kick-off party, 7:00pm-10:00pm. The Marketplace is ongoing Saturday and Saturday. The Festival benefits V.O.C.A.L, Volunteer Older Citizens Action League. See links to schedule information below and listen to Marianna talk about the festival above. 

songoflahoremovie.com

Paula Haller is a documentary filmmaker and the force behind DocuTime, the one-day documentary festival in its 14th incarnation. DocuTime is this Saturday, February 4th at UNCW's King Hall Auditorium. Eight films are presented in 4 time blocks (see the schedule below), 9:30am-5:00pm. Highlights include Sonita, about a teenage Afghan girl who wants to be a hip-hop artist, but being sold into marriage is getting in her way; Life, Animated, about a a boy with autism who gains communication through Disney films; and Song of Lahore, the story of a traditional Pakistani music group who ends up playing jazz with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center. Listen to Paula Haller's excitement about these and other selections above.

It’s time again for the 6th Annual Star News Wilmington Theatre Awards. For many Wilmington theatre folk, this is the most exciting theatrical event of the year-and not necessarily just because of the awards. It’s a rare opportunity when actors, designers, techies, directors, choreographers, musicians –and all the rest- come together to celebrate the art. 

Harold K. Jordan Contractors/Tise Keister Architecture

Wilmington Good Shepherd Center provides many services to the hungry and homeless in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. It's the largest provider in the Cape Fear Region. Services include meals, a night and day shelter, soup kitchen, and employment assistance. The Center has worked on a project for years for expansion on property near Greenfield Lake, and it's finally becoming a reality. Senior Development Director Jane Birnbach says that over 3/4 of the capital campaign goal for this project has been raised; listen above for details. 

Pages