• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment


Workshop Participant Biographies

Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill has been hosting a weekly radio show devoted to classical and contemporary music since 1989, first at KPFA in Berkeley and currently at KALW in San Francisco. Her program was listed as one of the "100 Best Things about the Bay Area" by Citysearch online magazine. She is also a pianist; composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, and Pauline Oliveros, and she has performed in the last few months in Tokyo and Rome. In addition, she writes articles, program notes, and liner notes about contemporary music. She is working with the American Music Center on a radio series featuring dialogues between American composers and pop artists.

Aaron Cohen
Aaron Cohen has a varied career centering around music and media. He began as a classically trained oboist, receiving his Bachelor of Music Degree from McGill University in Montreal. As a professional musician, Aaron performed with many orchestras and recorded two solo CD’s, Oboecentric and Oboisms. He then turned his attention to children’s entertainment and produced two significant audio projects: Oboe Stories and an adaptation of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. More recently, Aaron produced and directed several short films, most notably his award-winning Take Two series for Columbia University Television. Since November 2000 Aaron has worked as a producer at WNYC Radio in New York City. His most recent production, The Ring & I, is a one-hour radio documentary about Wagner’s Ring Cycle which he co-produced with Jad Abumrad. It aired in New York in March 2004 and went on to air on 43 other stations across the country.

Susan Fitzgerald
I grew up in a small coal-mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania in a house full of books and magazines. After earning a BA in English I worked at the Library of Congress for a few years. Then it was the late 60’s, I joined VISTA and spent a year in Denver Colorado. After that it was Alaska, first Fairbanks and then 8 years in remote communities before my family landed in Juneau. Radio had always been a lifeline and in Juneau I discovered public radio with classical music, folk music, spoken word and real news. I started at KTOO as a volunteer in the early 80’s and have been working here since 1986 first in Operations and now in Programming. My years here have taught me that our listeners are mostly open minded and willing to listen to new and different kinds of music.

David Ford
David's radio-announcing career began at 89.5 KMFA, Austin, in 1997. Shortly thereafter he was asked to head the station’s educational outreach program. One of the programs that David co-produced, Mind Your Music, won First Prize in the 2001 Fine Arts International Awards. After one year with KMFA, he was asked to design a program that took elements from Mind Your Music, and to expand on them in targeting an adult audience. This program became The Basics, which won a 2001 Fine Arts International Awards Honorable Mention.

In 2002 David was hired as the classical announcer for 88.5 WFDD in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he now serves as Classical Host/Producer. David hosts and produces a weekly arts interview feature called Triad Arts Up Close, and T.G.I.F.- Thank Goodness, It’s Familiar! (an hour-long survey of classical music war horses and chestnuts) which is simulcast on KMFA. In the summer, David produces arts features and concert programs for the Eastern Music Festival (EMF), and in the winter and fall he hosts and produces intermission features for both the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra concerts.

Jennifer Foster
Jennifer Foster is an announcer and producer at 89.9 WDAV, Classical Public Radio in Davidson, North Carolina. She pulls a regular on-air shift and is currently hard at work on a studio performance series featuring outstanding, but relatively unknown, local talent.

Classical music has been in the fabric of her life since infancy. Her father, a minister by trade, was also a composer, trumpeter and audiophile. Jennifer would accompany him to community orchestra rehearsals in her home town of Rockbridge Baths, Virginia, or to performances of works he’d written. She started raiding his extensive record collection in her teens and has been an avid listener and collector of classical music ever since.

While pursuing a degree in German at Davidson College, she took a year to study in Vienna, Austria. It was there, after attending a powerful performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.2, that she discovered her singing voice.

In addition to music she pursues a number of creative interests including beadwork, drawing, gourmet cooking, and rock hounding.

James David Jacobs
James David Jacobs hosts The Call of the Mountain every Friday morning on WNYE FM New York, where he has produced music programming since 1999. In that same year he joined the faculty of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, where he currently teaches cello lessons and theory classes, coaches instrumental and vocal ensembles, and hosts a monthly salon. Last year he produced a half-hour program for WNYE Television, The Perennial Question of Existence, in which he conducted the Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra and Chorus in Ives' Unanswered Question and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with pianist Beth Levin. He has delivered pre-concert talks for Poetica Musica and Bargemusic, and in Spring 2003 was a Distinguished Guest Lecturer at Montgomery College, Maryland, discussing the music in Shakespeare's plays. He is also a composer, having written scores for HBO, PBS and the Living Theatre, and a frequent performer, playing classical, folk and improvised music.

Brian McCreath
For many years my professional life was centered on being a musician, playing trumpet in orchestras and chamber ensembles, with some Broadway shows and Mexico City-based Beatles impersonators thrown in to keep things interesting. And as I spent time in the car going to gigs, I nearly always found that the classical music I heard on the radio failed to capture the excitement and electricity I felt when performing it. So I found myself learning about radio production at Wisconsin Public Radio before moving to Boston, where I now produce content for the WGBH web site, all in the hope of finding answers to the question of how to present classical music to audiences as the living and vital art form it is. I'm looking forward to the CMI workshop to hear how others have grappled with this issue, and to further develop my own ideas.

Tim McDonnell
Tim’s first radio job was in Kenai, Alaska, and classical music has been one of his lifelong passions. He’s played trombone since the fifth grade, was a music major at Westmont College in California, and was fortunate to tour the US and twelve foreign countries with various groups. He’s also a starving freelance film producer.

As a classical music host, writer and producer for KBAQ 89.5 FM in Phoenix, Tim’s vision for the workshop is to build a stronger bond with listeners based on a shared love of music and a shared sense of wonder about arts and creativity.

Lauren Rico
For the last 15 years, Lauren Rico has been able to combine her love of music with her passion for public radio. A longtime student of the French horn, Lauren holds a Master's degree from George Mason University. She has worked at numerous radio stations in cities across the country including Tampa, Washington DC, New York City and Charlotte. Lauren has been on the staff of Classical 24, Minnesota Public Radio's national classical music service since 1999. She also serves as the host and producer of the Minnesota Opera broadcast season. In 2001, she received the Gracie Allen Award for Best National Radio Special from the Association of Women in Radio and Television for Instrumental Women: Orchestrating Change, a series on the role of women in American orchestras.

Suzanne Schaffer came to Minnesota Public Radio in 2003. She is the associate producer for three national music programs—Saint Paul Sunday, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra broadcast concerts—and assists with other regional music productions. Prior to coming to Minnesota, she held internships with Nebraska Public Radio Network (KUCV) and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NETV). Suzanne has a B.A. in English from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She enjoys singing and playing the piano and guitar.

Kathryn Slusher grew up in Milwaukee, WI, adopting Minnesota as her new home state in 1992. She has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1999. Kathryn holds a master's degree in clarinet performance from the University of Minnesota. As an undergrad at Winona State University, she focused her studies in woodwind doubling. Kathryn is the music producer at A Prairie Home Companion and spends much of her time backstage at the Fitzgerald Theater, working with the musicians and guests in preparing the music segments for the live show each week. She also created and co-produces a new MPR/ Prairie Home Productions joint venture called Pop Vultures, which is a half-hour program dedicated to the discussion of pop music and culture. Kathryn is also very dedicated to her private music studio, where she teaches clarinet, saxophone, and flute.

Alicia Zuckerman began making radio at the age of 7 using appropriated material from New York City's WPLJ and Casey Kasem's American Top 40. After a two-decade hiatus, she decided to try her hand at original content. Based in New York City, she is an arts & culture reporter and producer at WNYC (New York Public Radio) and a contributor to various National Public Radio and Public Radio International programs, and has interviewed artists such as Julie Taymor, Merce Cunningham, Salman Rushdie, and John Adams. She also writes New York magazine’s weekly classical music and dance preview section. Alicia received a master’s degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from the State University of New York at Albany, where she studied English and music. She is the winner of a 2000 Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) for her radio documentary, "Voices of the City: New York Accents."

Glenn Zucman (MFA, Intermedia, Long Beach State University; BA, Social Psychology, University of Hawaii) is the producer-host of Strange Angels, a weekly hour of radio conversation on the arts and contemporary culture. Guests cover the spectrum of visual, performing, and literary arts. Zucman’s own art practice creates works featuring aspects of documentary and complexity theory. On the documentary side he creates “fractal portraits.” This urge to “paint a portrait,” to tell a story, has given rise to visual works and through them to his “radio portraits” which in turn have led to his interest in the Classical Music Initiative. On the complexity-entropy-emergence frontier he has been stirred by age-old existential questions made new in our century of intelligent machines. Artworks include a “Zen Entropy Garden,” robotic art-making machines, and multi-channel video installations. In his free time Zucman enjoys paper platonic solids, kayaking and cave diving. www.artboy.info/strange/Sblog/







 ©2020 American Public Media