Daniel Wanschura

Arts & Culture Reporter/Producer

Ever since he was young, Dan has been fascinated with radio. From hearing the dulcet tones of John Gordon broadcast Minnesota Twins games, to staying up late listening to radio theater, he was captivated by the imaginative medium. 

In 2012, Dan graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a BA in Communications. In 2015, he moved from the Twin Cities to northern Michigan, to cover arts and culture at Interlochen Public Radio.

During his time at IPR, he’s produced a weekly arts and culture segment called, “The Green Room.” In 2016, Dan won a PRNDI award for his story, “Opera: relevant or outdated?” In 2017, his story about a polo club in northern Michigan earned him a Edward R. Murrow regional award. His work has also been heard on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, Michigan Radio, and KFAI Radio.

Dan enjoys playing softball, driving on Michigan’s renown M-22 highway, and volunteering as a leader in Grand Traverse Young Life. He is also a lover of the Oxford comma— much to the chagrin of his editors.

He loves setting sound-rich scenes in his radio journalism, so naturally, a couple of his favorite stories include the time he accompanied photographers shooting a Lake Michigan storm, and when he visited award-winning cheesemakers. Another favorite was telling the story of how theater has helped a vet with PTSD.

Todd and Brad Reed Photography

Sara Kassien is not a photographer. She was in the right place though on Sunday, August 2nd, driving home from work when the storm that had wrecked Glen Arbor swept over Traverse City.

“I saw all these other people pulled over,” she remembers. “I’m like, ‘That’s a good idea, I should do that.’ I followed the crowd.”


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's acting principal clarinetist takes the stage at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

John Bruce Yeh is a 39-year veteran of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a founding member of the New York New Music Ensemble, a Grammy winner and more. A native of Los Angeles, he began studying the clarinet at age 6 and spent two years at Juilliard, from 1975 to 1977, before leaving to assume the role of solo bass clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra., and, two years later, assistant principal and solo E-flat clarinet. 

 

The subject of the Oscar‐nominated documentary Jules at eight, Julian Lage, now 27, has been performing and recording with vibraphone legend Gary Burton since the age of 12, holding a seat once occupied by the likes of Kurt Rosenwinkel and Pat Metheny. He stopped by IPR's Studio A, to chat and play a few songs with his trio.

The Eero Saxophone Quartet will perform tonight at the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall at 7:30pm.
The Ann Arbor based group will also be taking part in a student workshop with the Interlochen Arts Academy sax ensemble this afternoon.

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information call 231-276-7800

The Medal of Honor is the United States highest military honor.

It’s awarded to soldiers for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”


Interlochen Arts Academy Band Director Matt Schlomer leads his band in rehearsal.
Daniel Wanschura

Do we have a music that describes our time and place today? 

That question was recently explored during a concert at Interlochen Arts Academy.

In the early 1900’s, pianist and composer Percy Grainger began thinking about the type of music that might describe both England’s time and place - a sort of national sound, if you will. 

 

The members of PigPen Theater Co. get asked a certain question a lot: How did they come up with their name? 

They have a number of different stories about its origin, but Curtis Gillen says this one is true:

Seven freshman guys arrived at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007 and found out about a student-produced arts festival. Despite being short on time, the group decided to put a show together anyway.

After covering the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan for NPR, author Sarah Chayes decided to stay in the country and start a non-profit. The many types of corruption Chayes witnessed there firsthand, led her to write the book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security. She argues that while everyone around the world agrees corruption is bad, it’s a subject that usually get’s pushed to the back burner.

“We’re under-appreciating the degree to which a lot of the turmoil we’re seeing the world today is actually sparked by indignation at acute public corruption,” says Chayes. 

Maryfrances Phillippi in front of her "Circle of Angels" barn quilt.
Daniel Wanschura

Have you ever been driving around and noticed huge, quilt-like squares hanging on the sides of barns?

Those are called barn quilts, and just as fabric quilts tell stories with what's stitched into them, so do these wooden quilts. 


Chuck Korson prepares espresso for the first round of the Latte Art Throwdown.
Kate Botello

If you ever find yourself in a room full of people, drinks being poured, and a giant bracket posted on a white board, you’re probably in one of two places: a sports bar during March Madness, or a coffee house during a latte art throwdown. 

While latte art is a popular subject for people posting photos of their drinks on social media, the quality of the art is also a determination of the deliciousness of the drink. 

“It’s a sign that you’re taking care in what your doing with the coffee,” says Chuck Korson, owner of BLK MRKT, a coffee shop in Traverse City. “It’s the most easily recognizable manifestation of the care that is put into the coffee making,” he says.


This week the Green Room celebrates the ukulele, a sweet sounding little instrument with a growing fan base all over the world. Plus, Kate Botello plays something unexpected.

Librettist Scott Diel (left) and composer Eugene Birman (right) pictured during their two-week residency on Rabbit Island just off the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Andrew Ranville

Throughout the 19th century, operas were written to address the social issues of their day. Some people think those operas and their traditional format don’t have much context or relevance in today’s world.

Meet composer Eugene Birman and librettist Scott Diel. They believe opera should be made to reflect the current times and shed some of the formalities that characterize traditional opera.

That’s why they’re creating “State of the Union,” a neo-opera that challenges how humans view their urban environment, the world and each other. 

The piece will feature 12 voices. It doesn’t have any instruments, but it will have a megaphone.

Coggin Heeringa is instructor of Environmental Studies at Interlochen Arts Camp. She's pictured next to a sassafras tree.
Kate Botello

Recently, I went for a walk with Coggin Heeringa, instructor of Environmental Studies at Interlochen Arts Camp. We were looking for sassafras, which is native to Michigan.


Garrison Keillor will visit Interlochen during his farewell, "America the Beautiful" tour on July 28.
A Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor, the creator and host of "A Prairie Home Companion,” announced his forthcoming retirement yesterday.

He’ll call it quits after the conclusion of next year’s season in the fall of 2016. Keillor will continue to be involved with the show, serving as executive producer. 

Garrison Keillor has hosted A Prairie Home Companion since 1974.

Jetty Rae sits with her 18-month year old son, Beck.
Daniel Wanschura

 

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the Big Ticket Festival, in Gaylord, Michigan. The music festival features over 60 artists spread out over 6 stages. 

One of the artists performing on the main stage Friday, is Charlevoix resident, Jetty Rae.

Daniel Wanschura

Charlevoix boasts some unique houses. Often referred to as mushroom, Gnome, or Hobbit houses, the homes attract hundreds of tourists during the summer months. A new documentary film, The Wizard of Boulder Park, celebrates the architectural legacy of Earl Young, the man who built them. With limited architectural training, Young designed the homes to integrate with the natural landscape. 

Jose Vargas enters his fifth and likely final season with the Traverse City Beach Bums
Traverse City Beach Bums

The Traverse City Beach Bums open their home season this Friday night. Playing his fifth season with the Bums this year, is veteran Jose Vargas.

Ever since he was young, he’s dreamed of playing in the Big Leagues. And at age 27, Vargas has given himself one more chance to turn his dream into a reality. 

A two track trail somewhere in the Canadian section of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
Jason Snell

 

2,735.

That’s how many miles local cyclist Jason Snell completed on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route last year. It runs from Alberta to New Mexico.

Joshua Davis is now one of six contestants vying for the top spot on "The Voice."
Tyler Golden/NBC

Traverse City resident Joshua Davis advanced to the next round of NBC's reality TV show, The Voice on Tuesday evening. The top eight contestants were whittled down to six, and Davis was the first contestant to be safe this week, after his performance of Fields of Gold by Sting. 

Kate Botello spoke with Davis on Friday.

"It's been incredible," says Davis of his experience on the show. "It's been an amazing growing process."  

Members of the Traverse City Curling Club wrapped up their first season on Wednesday, at Center Ice Arena.
Daniel Wanschura

The sport of curling dates back to the 16th century. That’s when people in Scotland would play on the frozen lochs and ponds. 

The Traverse City Curling Club has only been around for a year, but they’re hosting a big tournament this weekend, called the "Cherry Bombspiel."

The "Question Mark Building" in Honor, is coming down.
Daniel Wanschura

If you’ve ever driven through the town of Honor on U.S. 31, you’ve likely seen the “Question Mark Building.” 

It’s a dilapidated old structure that had a bright pink facade with a large question mark painted on the front. 

Well, the building is finally coming down. 

Talk to the locals in the town of Honor, and you’ll realize that there is a bit of a love - hate relationship with the building on the corner of Henry and Main Street. 

 

Singing his way across America

Apr 14, 2015
Folk singer Adam Miller plays at the Peninsula Community Library tonight in Traverse City.
Daniel Wanschura

Folk singer Adam Miller has been fascinated with storytelling, history, and music for a long time. 

His career started as a sort of experiment 20 years ago. He wanted to see if he could really make a living in the 21st Century, traveling and singing songs about times past. 

Now, each year Miller logs about 70,000 miles traveling to different schools and libraries across the United States.

John L. Russell

If you’re a soccer fan, you probably remember the 2006 World Cup Championship between France and Italy. The contest featured a French player famously head butting an Italian, before Italy won the match in a shootout. 

That match got the owners of Trattoria Stella in Traverse City thinking, “Why don’t we do this with food?”

This year marks the eighth year the Italian restaurant has challenged a French counterpart to a friendly dinner competition.

The Promise is a dramatic retelling of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.
New Hope Community Church

New Hope Community Church in Williamsburg, is a large church, but not a mega church. Yet, over a period of four days last year, 6,000 people crammed into the building to view The Promise, a dramatic Broadway-styled retelling of the Easter story. 

This year marks the 18th year of the show. 

Take one step into the dress rehearsal and you realize this isn’t your average church production. Viewers quickly find themselves immersed in culture 2,000 years old complete with authentic looking Roman soldiers and Hebrew priests. 

Daniel Wanschura

When Joe and Bobbi Woods bought a 40-acre parcel in Rapid City, they weren't thinking about starting a maple syrup farm. They planned to grow hay.

What started out with a just few buckets 20 years ago, has now grown into a nearly 600-gallon maple syrup operation annually. It’s a family operation for the Woods. During syrup season, their son Grant usually helps out, checking to make sure the sap flows freely through the line system.

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