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Classical 101

Modern Americana and More on The American Sound

A vintage lunch box. A plate of cookies cooling on a window sill. A gaggle of door-to-door Christmas carolers. This is Americana, nostalgic glimpses of the America that once was. But even as Americana captures America's past, a newer version of it also continues to define the country's present and future. Modern Americana: students building an ice igloo on a winter afternoon and taking pictures of it with their mobile phones.  Thanksgiving turkey with organic cranberry coulis and sweet potato mousse. A vegan hot dog from a street vendor. In music, modern Americana joins music from America's past with the innovation and sense of adventure that have come to define American ingenuity and the American spirit - music with an American spirit and a modern accent. Saturday and Tuesday evenings on The American Sound, we'll enjoy "the spirit of the American journey, the idealism of the frontier" in modern guise with contemporary composer Mark O'Connor's Americana Symphony. We'll look back to America's Shaker tradition with the Shaker Suite by one of America's finest arrangers, Rayburn Wright. And we'll curl up with a Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael classic that, despite its couch potato title, came about in a sudden burst of creativity and industry. Please join me for some modern Americana on The American Sound, Saturday at 6 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Classical 101.