Kate Botello

Music Host and Producer

Kate comes to Northern Michigan via New York City, where she was a freelance actor, singer and playwright, appearing Off-Broadway as Judy Garland in the underground hit, Christmas with the Crawfords. She wrote and starred in several Judy Garland-themed productions, including Judy’s Christmas Garland and Judy Garland and Uninvited Company -- for which she was nominated for a Nightlife Award and won a Backstage Bistro award.

Before her time in New York, Kate was one of the founding on-air personalities for ZDTV, a national television network (later to become TechTV). There, she hosted "The Screen Savers," a live daily call-in show co-starring tech guru Leo Laporte, as well as "Extended Play," a show about videogames and the gaming industry with cohost Adam Sessler. She also puppeteered and provided the voice for Tilde, the network’s "virtual host" - work for which she won an Emmy Award.

Kate Botello has lived in Traverse City, Michigan since 2005, and is delighted by the huge amount of talent and art available to people in our area. She directed and starred in many productions for the Old Town Playhouse and Young Company, and led the OTP's Summer Performing Arts Camp for four years. Kate has even had a chance to make a few dreams come true, including hosting live "Sing-a-Long" events at the State Theatre, narrating stories with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and serving as the official "Word Pronouncer" for the Traverse City County and Regional Spelling Bees. 

Kate brings a lifetime love of classical music to IPR, and is thrilled by discoveries of beautiful pieces, new and old, to share with you.

Ways to Connect

Welcome to Episode 1 of Show Tunes with Kate Botello!

Click through to see this week's playlist,  watch a bonus showstopping video, and find info on how to hear your voice on the show!
 


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.


Theater director Minda Nyquist getting acquainted with her new office at West High School in Traverse City.
Daniel Wanschura

Ready or not, it’s back to school time!

While students are cherishing their last days of summer, teachers are busily preparing for the upcoming school year.

Minda Nyquist is one of them. She’s getting ready for her new role as the theater director at West High School in Traverse City. She’s taking over for Kristie Bach, who developed the theater program at West into the renown program it is today. Minda hopes to continue to build on what Kristie started 18 years ago.

Students rehearse during marching band camp at Interlochen last week.
John Roddy

High school football kicks off this weekend and with it marching band season. 

Some high schoolers spent last week getting ready for the band season at band camp hosted by Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Amy Wang was in marching band in high school and college. She’s been helping out as a color guard instructor for about 10 years.

One of her favorite things about band camp, is seeing the progression of the students.

“It’s pretty amazing what they can do in one week,” she says. 

Amy says anybody wanting to be in the color guard should be prepared to work hard, have lots of spirit, but to remember to enjoy the moment.

Not only do they have to memorize all the music and choreography, but they have to perform in all sorts of weather conditions- all while carrying and playing their instruments. 

 


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.

The 2015 Traverse City Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday and wraps up on Sunday.
Daniel Wanschura

The 11th annual Traverse City Film Festival has turned northwest lower Michigan into everything cinematic.

While it’s smaller than say, Sundance or Cannes, the Traverse City Film Festival has it’s own unique flavor. 

David Cassleman

Armed with an eight-track recorder and an eighty dollar microphone, Matt Jones travels around Michigan, recording local musicians.

So far, he’s recorded about 100 artists from all over the state. 

“Everybody I’ve recorded has been completely worth it," Jones says. "So how could I possibly stop?"

The "JunkYard Music Box" was made out of a rusty water tank, old car parts, leftover granite, two I-beams, and an antique meat grinder.
Tom Kaufmann

What most of us would see as useless junk, Tom Kaufmann sees potential for making instruments. 

“I love junk,” Kaufmann says, laughing. 

From a giant 25-foot tall music box made out of a rusty water tank, to glockenspiels created out of hand tools, he has spent much of his life making music out of unexpected materials.

"Beaches" the musical runs through August 16 at the Drury Lane Theatre near Chicago.
Brett Beiner

"Beaches" just opened as a new musical in a pre-Broadway tryout in the Chicago area. The musical is similar to the 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.

 

Director Brian Nash is an Interlochen alum. He says it feels like you’re looking at the same story as the film, but focusing on different days of the girls lives. 

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been making people laugh for more than 30 years.

On Sunday, he’s stopping by Traverse City with his “Mandatory Fun” Tour.

Hear how he came up with the idea for his song Foil, which parodies the pop song Royals by Lorde.

Levi Meeuwenberg and his fiancé Brenda Baran, of Realeyes Homestead in Traverse City.
Christopher Chemsak

In 2006, Levi Meeuwenberg left Michigan to perform and tour with Madonna as a parkour artist. 

Yes, the Madonna.

Linda Stephan

 

Yana Dee is not your typical seamstress.

She doesn’t use pins. She doesn’t use an iron very often, and she doesn’t use patterns in the traditional sense. She now has a store located in Traverse City’s high-rent downtown. Hear how she makes women’s clothing by combining retro ways with modern trends. 

Aaron Selbig

 This week on the Green Room: Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ gets a folk music makeover. Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, instructor of the singer-songwriter program here at Interlochen Arts Academy, talks about creating the play’s original score.

Plus, street art becomes fine art. A skateboard art exhibit opens at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City.

 

 

 

 

Kids' Commute: The Carnival of the Animals

Jun 5, 2015

It’s the final week of the school year! It’s become a tradition here on the Kids’ Commute to celebrate the last week of school with The Carnival of the Animals, by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. We’ll hear Leonard Bernstein conduct, and also describe every movement of the musical suite for us. Let’s jump right in!

The Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886. The piece is a sort of zoo, where Camille Saint-Saëns describes all sorts of different animals musically! Saint-Saëns wrote the music for his friends to enjoy, but also to give young musicians something fun to play. 

So, throughout the zoological romp this week, we’ll hear 7 young people performing alongside the string section of the New York Philharmonic.

 

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. 

Kids' Commute: The Carnival of the Animals

Jun 4, 2015
Hear "The Carnival of the Animals" this week on Kids' Commute!
David Monniaux

It’s the final week of the school year! It’s become a tradition here on the Kids’ Commute to celebrate the last week of school with The Carnival of the Animals, by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. We’ll hear Leonard Bernstein conduct, and also describe every movement of the musical suite for us. Let’s jump right in!

The Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886. The piece is a sort of zoo, where Camille Saint-Saëns describes all sorts of different animals musically! Saint-Saëns wrote the music for his friends to enjoy, but also to give young musicians something fun to play. 

So, throughout the zoological romp this week, we’ll hear 7 young people performing alongside the string section of the New York Philharmonic.

 


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