Kile Smith

Sharon Torello

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, founded in 1874, is a largely volunteer chorus of about 140 members.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, its new artistic director taps into the joy of singing to celebrate the past, present, and future of choral music.


Changes in the Afternoon on WRTI

Apr 17, 2016

We have some big news to share! Kile Smith has been promoted to Director of Content, a new key position at WRTI. And after a nationwide search, Kevin Gordon has been selected as our new Afternoon Drive (2 to 6 pm) Classical Host starting on April 25th.

On Easter Sunday from 4 to 6 pm, join us to hear The Crossing in Concert, recorded live on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2016 at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Conductor Donald Nally is your host.

Philadelphia's professional choir dedicated to new music, The Crossing enters its second decade with "The Crossing@10: Respond/Reprise/Renew." This concert, "Reprise 2," features works about our love for one another, love for our planet, and our wish for a more loving culture.

A group of Philadelphia-area musicians who share a love of early music, made Renaissance bands new 30 years ago. Their range of instruments? It includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion.  Earlier this year, the artistic directors of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band provided WRTI's Meridee Duddleston with a glimpse of their musical roots.

Join us on Sunday, November 23rd at 3 pm for a concert broadcast by The Crossing chamber choir, led by Music Director Donald Nally, and recorded in October at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square.

It’s our 200th show and we’re celebrating on Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 4th at 9 pm! Judith Lang Zaimont starts us off in a poignant mood as we look back with Reflective Rag. The two pianists of Quattro Mani bring us Kindred Spirits of William Bland, the title summing up how we feel about all our contemporary American composers. Then another duo, of clarinets, brings us the fresh Aphorisms II of Ursula Mamlok.

Allen Shawn’s Nostalgic Pieces party with a waltz and a boogie-woogie, and David Wolfson’s Time and Tide (Benediction) marks the passage of the years with four cellos (multi-tracked by one player). Minton’s Playhouse by James Syler translates the jazz club to saxophone quartet and wind ensemble, the spirit of Charlie Parker hovering over this bopping concerto grosso.

Then we program a composer whose only other appearance on NITT was in Show #100. Kile Smith’s American Spirituals, Book 2, for cello and piano, blushingly closes out the celebrations. We’re grateful to all of you, composers and listeners, for keeping contemporary American music alive on WRTI!

If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the all-classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

The Crossing Choir: Works by Kile Smith

Jan 18, 2012

Be sure to join us from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday, January 22nd for a special treat - concert broadcasts of the 24-voice chamber choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally. This month, you'll hear performances of Kile Smith's Vespers (with Piffaro, the Renaissance wind band), Where Flames a Word, and The Waking Sun (with Tempesta di Mare).

All three of these performances were recorded at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia.

More Information about The Crossing Here

David Patrick Stearns listens in on a recording by Piffaro, the wind band, and the vocal group The Crossing, of Kile Smith's Vespers.

Susan Lewis explores a re-created 16th-century Lenape village at Buck's County's Churchville Nature Center, which is hosting its annual Pow Wow this weekend.

We listen back to a roundtable discussion on the changing face of arts education in Philadelphia's public schools.

Jason Peifer has a preview of Shakespeare in Clark Park. This year the West Philadelphia park features the Bard's romantic comedy As You Like It.