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

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.

 

 

 

 

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. 

Aaron Selbig

Musician Rachel Brooke has been compared to Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris and Neko Case. She spends most of her time on the road these days traveling the country, but she loves to be writing songs at her home is near Grayling. We catch up with her during one of her recent hometown gigs.

Plus, artist Rufus Snoddy has collaborated with his daughter, Maya James, on an exhibition at Twisted Fish Art Gallery. James is a spoken-word artist. The exhibit, called Hybrid runs through June 28.

Imperial Stormtroopers are invading the Cherry Capital Comic Con this weekend - but don't worry; it's just for fun! 

And - photographer Eric Hatch uses long exposures to capture big details in his images, partly because he can't really see the small things.

Plus: a graduating Interlochen student shares her favorite bassoon trick! 

 


Whether you're sitting in the bath (or you wish you were), entertaining friends, or perhaps looking to relax after the baby has finally stopped crying -- Interlochen Public Radio's Kate Botello has the perfect Classical playlist for you. Play the music from your computer anytime. All you need is a free Spotify account. 

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."  

Wayne Erreca

Welcome to the Green Room on Interlochen Public Radio, our new weekly arts journal. Join us to hear about the arts, artists, and performance.

Why is it called the Green Room?

A green room is a space where performers hang out between the dressing room and the stage. It's a place to relax, that usually has a couch and some snacks. So think of the Green Room on Interlochen Public Radio as your backstage pass into the world of the arts each week.

Interlochen Center for the Arts has released the schedule for the upcoming 2015 Festival season!

Chris Gruits, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, joined IPR's Tim Burke to give us a preview.

For a full listing of acts coming to Interlochen for the 2015 Arts Festival, click here.

IPR wishes a happy birthday to composer PDQ Bach, the twenty-first of JS Bach's twenty children.

Learn more about the life of PDQ Bach by reading his full biography by Professor Peter Schickele.

Oscar-nominated scores: pick your winner!

Feb 21, 2015

UPDATE! THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Click "Read More" for the results of the 2015 Oscar Nominated Score Poll.

The Academy Awards are coming up on February 22, and it's your turn to pick a winner!

Five films have been nominated for the Best Musical Score Oscar - which is your favorite?  Listen to the scores and vote for the one YOU think should win the Oscar this year.  See how your pick measures up with Academy voters!

Jeremy Kittel is a seriously well rounded violinist and musician; he’s a master of classical, jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, Bluegrass… you name it, he does it!

Jeremy recently came to Interlochen Arts Academy to work with some students before a Valentine’s concert in Suttons Bay, and brought his bandmates Joshua Pinkham (mandolin) and Quinn Bachand (guitar) with him to Studio A.
(Learn more about the band, and our Studio A visit, by clicking "Read More.")

Interlochen Arts Academy Alumnus Keith Buncke has just been named Principal Bassoon of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

When Buncke graduated from Interlochen, he probably assumed he’d take a few years to finish college and begin a career. That was not to be: not long into his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, Buncke, then 20 years old, was selected as First Bassoonist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Now, at 21, Buncke embarks on his new adventure under the baton of Riccardo Muti in Chicago.

Toi toi toi, Keith!

PLAY NOW: Road Trip!

Nov 21, 2014

Taking a road trip? Change your playlist! We're thinking about you out on those snowy roads for your holiday travels. It's exciting and stressful, we know. What soundtrack can be both calming and stimulating? What could add new color to the landscapes outside your car window?  Kate Botello has put together nearly 4 hours of music designed to surprise and invigorate your road trip. Great for the Classical music fan, or if you're just willing to give Classical a try. Best of all, there's no interruption when you leave our coverage area. You just need your smart phone and the free music sharing app Spotify.

You've probably listened to some tunes while making dinner - but how often have you based the menu directly on the music? IAA Band Conductor Dr. Matthew Schlomer and Black Star Farms Chef Jonathan Dayton put their heads together for an innovative project that does just that.

"Tone to Table," a collaboration between Interlochen Arts Academy and Black Star Farms, is an upcoming event exploring the connections between food and music - compositional "ingredients" taking on new depth as they relate to one another.

Chef Dayton, along with Black Star's Stephanie Lee Wiitala, came together with Dr. Schlomer to create an event based on the interplay of music and food. On November 20th, diners can experience that exchange, with music provided by IAA, and food by Black Star Farms. The menu has a, "Landscapes," theme, and follows many layers of that idea - everything from outdoor landscapes to landscapes within - what Dr. Schlomer calls, "ideal urges," and, "primal urges."

We were treated to a performance and discussion of those, "primal urges," in Studio A. IAA Flute Instructor Nancy Stagnitta was the soloist, with a group of IAA percussion students (Joshua Pearlmutter, Stephen Karukas, Adriano Macciocchi and Miyu Morita), performing samples of Andre Jolivet's, "Suite en Concert." The piece is based on ancient sounds and ideas - flute and drum are the oldest musical instruments known to man. Chef Dayton discussed how the primal sound and differing textures influenced his dish, from ingredients to  plating.

It was a fun, interesting discussion (we even talked about how Chef Dayton changed a sauce because it was too, "creamy," for its accompanying composition), interspersed with fascinating music, but be warned: it might make you hungry!


Guitarist Bret Hoag (pictured, left) and flutist Jeff Zook (pictured, right) are colleagues and studio neighbors at Oakland University in Detroit. The two started out as mutual admirers, and ended up touring together.

Jeff enjoys finding challenging new arrangements for them to play. Bret enjoys telling Jeff to quit finding pieces written for the piano ("I keep throwing him piano parts," says Jeff, "and he keeps throwing them back."). Somehow, no matter the original instruments, they always come up with something compelling that works for both of them.

Bret and Jeff were in town for an "Around the World," themed concert at the Oliver Art Center, in conjunction with Chamber Music North. They treated us to three pieces Live in Studio A, including a Libby Larsen piece that Jeff performed on a flute d'amore. We discussed its eerie sound, and how the instrument had recently enraptured a group during a performance. "I felt like I just had everyone in the palm of my hand," said Jeff. I told him, "That's why it's called the Flute of Love." He replied, "Exactly, baby!"

Listen to the three pieces, below: the first movement of Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango, the Libby Larsen, and a piece from Enrique Granados originally written for piano, but transcribed for guitar (it seems Bret has a point about that whole piano-pieces-for-guitar thing, there.) 


We had a delightful visit from some of the cast and crew of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City, brightening up a gray and rainy day in Studio A.  The show opened in early October at the Old Town Playhouse, and runs through October 25th. According to the New York Times, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a high-spirited comedy that, "aims to vault over the lines of good taste." 

The cast, and director Perez, were quite pleased with that description, and recommend the show for audiences over 18, but they were kind enough to bring us material that was left us utterly tickled - and reasonably un-scandalized.
 


Pages