Mary Edwards

Senior Talk Show Producer, St. Louis Symphony Producer

Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years, and is currently Senior Producer of  St. Louis Public Radio’s local talk/call-in show, “St. Louis on the Air," and producer of the live Saturday night broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony.  Mary also teaches an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the flute, participating in various music activities at her church, and water skiing.

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Melissa Parks sings the role of Katisha in Union Avenue Opera's season opening production of "The Mikado."
Union Avenue Opera

The curtain rises on Union Avenue Opera’s 22nd Festival Season on July 8 with a new adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic, “The Mikado.” 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter was joined by mezzo soprano Melissa Parks who sings the role of Katisha in “The Mikado.” Also joining the program were Eric Gibson, who directs the production, and Scott Schoonover, Union Avenue Opera’s artistic director and conductor, to discuss the production and preview the two other productions in the 2016 season.

Robert Duffy speaks with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh about his career in journalism.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Robert Duffy said goodbye to St. Louis Public Radio. In conversation with host Don Marsh, he looked back on his years at the station, his founding of the St. Louis Beacon and his years reporting at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

To most St. Louisans, the name Annie Malone conjures up images of a large parade in May. But the organization that hosts that parade, the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center has been providing services to at-risk children and families for more than a century — 128 years to be exact.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A native of St. Louis, Leon Burke III began music studies at age 12. By age 16 he was already conducting. Although he was also interested in science and math, he chose music as his field of study in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas. He also studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio news editor Margie Freivogel has journalism in her DNA. She was recognized for her high school journalism accomplishments by a U.S. President before even starting college. Years later she served in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Washington D. C. bureau during her long tenure with that publication. After leaving the Post she was co-founder of the on-line publication The St. Louis Beacon and then entered uncharted waters when she helped steer the merger of that organization with St. Louis Public Radio.

Charles stretches.
Mark Glenshaw

On December 29, Mark Glenshaw celebrated his 10th anniversary of monitoring a pair of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park. The amateur naturalist made his first appearance on “St. Louis on the Air” two years ago to introduce listeners to the pair he had dubbed Charles and Sarah. In April of this year he returned to report on the birth of the couple’s offspring, a pair of owlets whom he later named Harold and Grace. At that time he described the parents as the “Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt” of Great Horned Owls.

Mary Edwards

Reporters Durrie Bouscaren and Camille Phillips have covered a wide variety of issues in the region in the last year. They joined host Don Marsh to discuss the most problematic ones and agreed the two most pressing issues are homicides and heroin addiction. To date there have been 187 homicides in St. Louis but few arrests.

Used with permission from Yale University Press. From Eero Saarinen Papers Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Photograph by Richard Knight

Originally published July 1, 2013 — Author and historian Tracy Campbell views the Gateway Arch as an architectural wonder which draws millions of tourists to St. Louis, though he also argues the landmark is “an example of failed urban planning.”

To make way for the monument, nearly forty square blocks of riverfront property were demolished.  The demolition began during a public ceremony on October 9, 1939.

City leaders only gained traction for the project once it was framed as a monument to President Thomas Jefferson.

John Wright, Robbyn Wahby and Alicia Herald joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

There are almost 70 charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City. Until recently, they were all sponsored by universities. Now another alternative is the Missouri Charter Public School Commission.

Although created by the Missouri legislature in 2012, it didn’t have its first meeting until December of last year. Then at the end of March, Robbyn Wahby was named executive director and left her position as St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s top education adviser to assume her new role.

Brian McConkey

This post has been updated with the details of Syer's memorial.  

In the mid-1970s a new theater group put on its first show in the then empty Union Station and changed the theater scene in St. Louis forever. The group was Theatre Project Company and its co-founder was Fontaine Syer.

Courtesy Union Avenue Opera

Union Avenue Opera opens its 21st festival season on July 10 with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” When “Cityscape" host Steve Potter pointed out that age 21 in people usually indicates adulthood, UAO Artistic Director Scott Schoonover responded, “We have actually played around with that imagery, thinking about coming into our own at 21. We actually have a pretty serious season this year … a bit heavier in that sense. I think people will still enjoy it and get a lot out of it, but coming into our own, yes.”

Professors of political science Ken Warren of SLU (left) and Dave Robertson of UMSL (middle) joined St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies (right) and host Don Marsh.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh led a discussion about the role Missouri might play during the 2016 Presidential Election. Joining Marsh were St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies, University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor David Robertson, and Saint Louis University political science professor Ken Warren.

The organ has been deemed by some as the “king of instruments.” But regardless of what it’s called, the organ will definitely reign supreme in St. Louis next week when the American Guild of Organists (AGO) holds its 2015 North Central Regional Convention in churches and concert halls throughout the metropolitan area.

Ken Howard

Although Tobias Picker’s “Emmeline” received great accolades for its Santa Fe Opera premiere in 1996 and again in 1998 when that production was staged at the New York City Opera, it hasn’t been mounted since. But that will change on June 13 when Opera Theatre of Saint Louis opens its production of the American saga.

Alex Heuer

If there is one word to describe Teri Griege it would be ‘resilient.’ She began running marathons in her forties after conquering an alcohol addiction and worked her way up to competing in triathlons including the Ironman.

“It’s a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile bike [ride] and then the run is a marathon, 26.2 miles,” Griege explained. Her goal was to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

Alex Heuer

Independent filmmaker Bill Streeter joined “Cityscape” guest host Don Marsh to discuss “Lo-Fi Cherokee,” an outgrowth of his award winning music and culture web video series, “Lo-Fi Saint Louis.”

“Lo-Fi Cherokee” is a yearly celebration of the St. Louis music scene featuring 18 live performance videos all produced in a single day in 18 different locations on Cherokee Street. The bands range from veteran national acts to up-and-coming local musical groups.

Missouri History Museum

When Missouri History Museum archivist M. E. Kodner came across letters that St. Louisan James Love wrote to his fiancée, Eliza Mary “Molly” Wilson during his service in the Union Army, she realized their importance in shedding light on the war and life during that period. So she compiled 160 letters into the book “My Dear Molly: The Civil War Letters of Captain James Love.” 

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis opens its 40th anniversary season on May 23 with a production of Rossini’s comic opera “The Barber of Seville.” Conducted by St. Louis native Ryan McAdams, the production features the Opera Theatre debut of mezzo-soprano Emily Fons in the role of Rosina.

The season continues with Puccini’s romantic opera “La Rondine” opening on May 30. Former Gerdine Young Artist, soprano Sydney Mancasola sings the role of Lisette.

Rhonda Ely

Soprano Sylvia McNair has sung in concert halls and opera houses all over the world. But she has a soft spot for St. Louis, where she got her start in opera with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 1983.

“Certainly in the 1980s, [Opera Theatre] was and still is a premier training ground for young American singers where you learn your craft from great directors and conductors,” she told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “I feel like Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is where I figured out how to walk in the opera business.”

Alla Voskoboynikova grew up in a small town in Russia near Moscow. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance before moving to St. Louis in 1996.

Since 2004, Voskoboynikova, the director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has seen many of her former students go on to graduate school and successful careers as performers and teachers.

“This is probably the greatest reward for all the hours of hard work,” Voskoboynikova told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday.

Alex Heuer, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a long and rich literary tradition having produced such noted writers as Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, Eugene Field and Maya Angelou. On April 26, in honor of National Poetry Month, the St. Louis Poetry Center will celebrate one of St. Louis’ own, Maya Angelou.

Courtesy Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

For over sixty years, Emmy and Tony award winning actor Hal Holbrook has recreated the role of Mark Twain in “Mark Twain Tonight.” He has returned to St. Louis and will once again perform his one man show on Saturday in UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center to benefit the Eugene Field House Foundation.

Chamber Music Society of St. Louis

The Chamber Music Society of St. Louis will honor David and Miran Halen at its annual benefit next week.

Ken Haller is a pediatrician in his day job.  But in his spare time, he is a cabaret singer.  Following the success of his previous shows “Side by Side by Sondheim” and “The TV Show,” Haller will celebrate his 60th birthday with “Mama’s Boy,” part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival series.

Courtesy St. Louis Ragimers

On March 7, the entire Cityscape program was devoted to a remembrance of ragtime pianist and scholar Trebor Jay Tichenor who died in February. Tichenor had devoted his life’s work to the study and performance of ragtime, both as a piano soloist and as a member of the St. Louis Ragtimers. For many years he hosted Ragophile on 90.7, a program devoted to the art of ragtime.

Founded in 1992, the Arianna String Quartet (ASQ) moved from Michigan to St. Louis in 2000 and became the Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Initially the quartet split its concert schedule between the Ethical Society and the Sheldon Concert Hall but was concerned that the audiences were completely separate. But with the opening of UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center in 2003, the quartet found a new home in the center’s Lee Theater.

Union Avenue Opera

When Union Avenue Opera opens its 2014 season on July 11 with Verdi’s La Traviata, it will be with a company that is vastly different than the one that mounted its first production 20 years ago. UAO founding artistic director and conductor Scott Schoonover recalled that he had just finished his degree, wanted a chance to conduct and knew a number of singers who needed work. He had just moved to St. Louis to take the position as music director of Union Avenue Christian Church and the church encouraged him to mount an opera there.

Romondo Davis

Web marketer Romondo Davis and his wife love to go to concerts so frequently take advantage of the many free concerts offered in the St. Louis area.  After frequent posts on Facebook about concerts they attended, a friend suggested  that they start a website promoting them.

For four years, the Missouri Chamber Music Festival has offered a series of chamber music concerts in the month of June at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves. But for the first time, the festival will conclude with a grand finale at The Sheldon Concert Hall in Grand Center.

Ken Howard

When Opera Theatre of Saint Louis approached Ricky Ian Gordon about writing an opera for mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, he was thrilled. “Stephanie is sort of a phenomenon. She’s probably the only singer that makes the Met feel too small,” said Gordon to Cityscape host Steve Potter. “It’s very exciting writing for a singer that bears that kind of vocal stature on the stage.  And the minute her name was mentioned to me as someone to write an opera for, I said ‘Gertrude Stein’ because I thought the personality has to match the voice.”

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