WTTW and WFMT are committed to producing and presenting trusted, best-in-class content fueled by a distinctly Chicago sensibility. In the Spring of 2020, WFMT had planned to launch Introductions in the Community, a community engagement initiative designed to inspire children through peer-led experiences with live classical music. Due to the pandemic, WFMT has decided to make this program virtual.
This initiative is an expansion of WFMT’s popular weekly Saturday morning program, Introductions, hosted and produced by Robbie Ellis. Introductions highlights the finest pre-collegiate musicians in the Chicago area. Programs featuring soloists and chamber ensembles are broadcast live from WFMT’s Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio. Large ensembles, including bands, orchestras, and choirs, are recorded at their home venues and broadcast at later dates. During the pandemic, Introductions has been recording remotely at partner venues; philanthropic support enabled WFMT to purchase and assemble an audio/video recording kit that is now loaned to performers so they can record themselves at home.
On February 25, 2021, WFMT will be hosting its second Introductions in the Community virtual event in partnership with Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI). The program will feature excerpt performances by CMPI students and a panel discussion moderated by Robbie Ellis on the theme of "Media Masterclass." Panelists will include Jill Chukerman (arts publicist and writer), Kelly Hall-Tompkins (violinist and classical music entrepreneur), Angel Idowu (arts correspondent for WTTW’s Chicago Tonight), along with two CMPI fellows: Sameer Agrawal (violinist) and Adriana Koch (oboist and co-founder of Sharing The Stand).
Performers will include Eric Bahena (bassoon), Kailie Holliday (cello), Rafael Noriega (bass trombone), Miguel Rodriguez (flute) with accompaniment by Beilin Han (piano).
Listen to previous Introductions episodes featuring CMPI fellows:
- CMPI Introductions debut, with Abigail Lopez, bassoon; Jonathan Miller, cello; Oliver Talukder, oboe; and Sameer Agrawal, violin (December 7, 2019)
- Lakeshore Winds and The Bone Rangers, with Oliver Talukder, oboe; Abigail Lopez, bassoon; Owen Riordan, trombone; and Rafael Noriega, bass trombone (June 13, 2020)
- Ardente String Quartet and Trio Primavera, with Ella Saputra, violin; Esme Arias-Kim, violin; and Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, cello (August 22, 2020)
- Anika Veda, flute (October 31, 2020)
Esme Arias-Kim, violin (November 21, 2020)
- The People’s Music School, with Jaz Rios, marimba and Julia Soto, cello (November 28, 2020)
- Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, cello (January 16, 2021)
- Ella Saputra, violin (February 20, 2021)