WWFM Brings Live Music to MCCC with Radio/Online Concert Series 


West Windsor, N.J. – Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March, WWFM has been planning to bring live music-making back in the most innovative, safe and anticipated method possible once the time was right. This Friday at Noon, The Classical Network will present a live concert broadcast from the Black Box Theater on the campus of Mercer County Community College. Live music concerts have been cut out of all our lives during the COVID pandemic, and this concert broadcast is a start on the road back.

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., working with world class classical music ensembles, musicians, venues and festivals throughout this region and across the country. 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).

Having been given the ‘green-light’ by Mercer County Community College President, Dr. Jianping Wang, Vice President for College Advancement, Joseph Claffey, and Bryon Marshall, Director of Facilities and College Safety, WWFM sent invitations to our concert broadcast partners in New York City, New Jersey, including to local Mercer County musicians, and to those in Philadelphia.

The idea is to broadcast live, chamber music concerts with a limited number of musicians. In order to practice social distancing, the only people in attendance will be the musicians, recording engineer, John Baker, WWFM’s Music Director David Osenberg as host, and a studio control board operator. The live concert broadcasts will take place on three select Fridays beginning at noon.

“We see this live concert initiative 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. We’ve been successfully broadcasting concerts for years under the collective title of Celebrating Our Musical Community. Now with the support of our parent institution, Mercer County Community College, we can continue our mission to bring the best in classical music programming to our listeners, even with the challenges the pandemic has presented," said Alice Weiss, Station Manager.

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. The live performance experience will bring us all what we’ve been missing in our lives for over three months."

WWFM’s first such live concert broadcast - perhaps some of the first professional classical, live music-making in the area not originating in musicians’ homes or via a platform like Zoom – will take place on Friday, June 19 at noon. The concert will feature the critically acclaimed husband-wife ensemble, New Jersey-based Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo.

The Duo will perform Spanish & American music as well as music by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, including a work of his commissioned by and composed for the Duo. Michael Newman & Laura Oltman founded and have acted as Artistic Directors of the Raritan River Music Festival for 31 years, a festival broadcast each year on The Classical Network. In this pandemic-stricken year, the Festival aired in a virtual mode on four consecutive Fridays on The Classical Network beginning on May 22, 2020. Information about the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo can be found at guitarduo.com.

The plan for these live broadcast concerts in the Black Box Theater at Mercer County Community College includes a proposal for three broadcast dates. If all feel safe and satisfied that social distancing can be practiced effectively even during live music making, then WWFM will move forward with two additional broadcasts to take place in tentatively in July & August. Further, when the MCCC campus re-opens, WWFM hopes to continue with a series of live performance broadcasts for radio, knowing that traditional concert performances may not be available as we’ve known them to be because of the challenges of keeping everyone safe during the COVID pandemic.

WWFM, again, wishes to thank President Wang and Vice President Claffey for their support of this bold plan to prove that classical music can continue to thrive for the enjoyment and cultural benefit to the residents of Mercer County and beyond, throughout WWFM’s broadcast reach. We’re looking forward to making these important, innovative and exciting concerts a reality from WWFM and Mercer County Community College.

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 www.wwfm.org. For a list of all radio frequencies log on to wwfm.org.

For more information contact info@wwfm.org.

Mercer County Community College is home to 70 associate degree programs and numerous credit and noncredit certificate programs. Still, the college also offers many educational experiences, leadership opportunities and the chance to interact with other students and faculty/staff members in an informal setting.

More than 40 clubs offer students the opportunity to explore special interests. Many of these clubs are directly affiliated with fields of study and augment classroom experiences.

In addition, art exhibits, dance productions, dramatic presentations, musical productions, and performances by guest artists are sponsored throughout the year. Music organizations include the college chorus, jazz band, symphonic band, dance ensemble, and stage band.

For more information about student life, visit: https://www.mccc.edu/student_services_clubs.shtml


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guitar duo

Guitar Duo Michael Newman and Laura Oltman