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 two local talk/call-in shows, “St. Louis on the Air” and “Cityscape,” 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.

Ways To Connect

The majority of this interview is a rebroadcast from April 19, 2013.

Cellist Bjorn Ranheim and violinist Shawn Weil are colleagues in the St. Louis Symphony.  Double bassist Syd Rodway and composer/keyboardist Adam Maness are members of the Erin Bode Group.  They got to know each other when Ranheim and Weil collaborated with the Erin Bode Group and also shared an interest in good food and fine beer. 

photo of Barbara Harbach
Stephanie Zettl

University of Missouri – St. Louis music professor and composer Barbara Harbach was commissioned to write a work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institution.  As a result, her Jubilee Symphony will receive its premiere on Wednesday, October 9 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  Robert Howard will conduct UMSL’s University Orchestra in the premiere.

When giving tours at the Saint Louis Art Museum, people often ask about prints and want to know if they are as important as paintings and I explain that they are another medium of the visual arts. People often are confused and think that prints are just copies of paintings and I have to clarify the issue and explain what a print actually is and that luminaries such as Rembrandt, Max Beckmann, Helen Frankenthaller, and Jasper Johns were painters as well as printmakers.

Joan Lipkin has been creating theater with people who have disabilities since 1996, when she co-founded the DisAbility Project.  An outgrowth of That Uppity Theatre Company, of which Lipkin is artistic director, the DisAbility Project brings together amateur and professional performers of all abilities to create theater based on lived experience.

It took three seasons for the St. Louis Symphony to fill the position of Principal Trumpet after Susan Slaughter stepped down in 2010 after 40 years.  Slaughter holds the distinction of being the first female to hold the principal position in a major symphony orchestra and the word “legend” has been used to describe her. 

Lisa Mazzucco

When mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano enrolled in Webster University, her goal was to be a choral conductor.  But Webster’s Director of Vocal Studies Carole Gaspar had other ideas. At the end of Cano’s sophomore year, Gaspar suggested that she should pursue a career as a singer. Cano had already been in her first opera scene at Webster and had enjoyed it.  “So I changed my major,” said Cano, “and started really focusing my energy on practicing and learning more of the craft of what singers need to know to be successful.”

Rich Herberts / St. Louis Public Radio

Every month, St. Louis on the Air holds a legal roundtable in which we discuss local, regional and national issues pertaining to the law.  This month, we took the show on the road to Saint Louis University's new downtown School of Law building.

Host Don Marsh and the panel of legal experts took questions from a live audience in the 12th floor court room. And with the new U.S. Supreme Court session scheduled to begin October 7th, there was a lot to talk about.

The panelists were:

Dilip Vishwanat

St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson conducted the final concert of his orchestra’s 2012-2013 season on May 12 and a special concert for the League of American Orchestras Convention on June 18.  Since then, he has traveled the globe and has conducted concerts on four different continents while also encountering some familiar faces.  “I got to see a number of the St. Louis musicians who also in the summer do anything but keep their instruments in the case,” said Robertson.

Mona Brown

For the second year, the residents of Louisiana, Missouri invite artists to literally “paint their town.” On Saturday, September 21, visual artists from all over will descend on Louisiana to paint “en plein aire,” the hills, valleys, buildings and people of their town.  Spectators are encouraged to travel around the area to see the artists at work. 

Saturday evening, there will be an exhibition and sale of the paintings the artists created during the day. Cash prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place.

The Arianna String Quartet (ASQ) recently returned from a month-long tour performing and teaching in South Africa. That experience is reflected in the opening concert of the quartet’s 2013-14 season on September 6.   Titled “Out of Africa,” the concert is highlighted by Five Elegies by South African composer Arnold van Wyk.  The program also includes Mendelssohn’s Quartet in F minor, Op. 80 and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden.

David Robertson conducting at Powell Hall
Dan Dreyfus / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson discussed American symphonies in a feature produced by NPR Music's Tom Huizenga as part of the program's search for the great American symphony. Robertson weighed in on why American orchestras are afraid of new symphonies in addition to explaining his selection of the great American symphony. St. Louis Public Radio also listeners made suggestions including:

(Courtesy Union Avenue Opera)

When one thinks of Wagner’s Ring cycle, what comes to mind is a huge cast, orchestra and set which can only be performed in the world’s largest opera houses.  But Union Avenue Opera has brought the Ring to St. Louis thanks to the reduction and adaptation by composer Jonathan Dove and stage director Graham Vick. The company will mount the second opera, Die Walkure, on August 16, 17, 23 and 24.

(Courtesy Jazz St. Louis)

This Saturday, Grand Center, Inc. and Jazz St. Louis team up to present a showcase of American music.  The event will take place at five venues in Grand Center and will feature performances by six local bands.

When they first started planning the event, they were going to present music across a wide range of genres, said Devin Rodino, communications and operations manager at Jazz St. Louis. But in the end they settled on American music --jazz, folk, blues, country and bluegrass.

Chris McDaniel

The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling on Breitenfeld v. School District of Clayton on June 11 reversed a lower court decision and found that state statute 167.131does not violate the Hancock Amendment. The statute provides that an unaccredited school district must pay tuition for students to attend school in another accredited district in the same or an adjoining county.

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

Late last month regional leaders launched the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020.

(Courtesy: Arthur Johnson)

East St. Louis native Arthur Anthony Johnson’s varied career has taken him from world champion boxer to contemporary gospel music artist.

Johnson’s remarkable story as an amateur boxer who competed for the United States in the 1988 Olympics and retired in his early twenties before mounting an incredible comeback as a professional boxer who would win three world titles is detailed in a documentary called “Greatest Comeback.”  His story is also presented in a new album of the same name.

(Courtesy: Cinema St. Louis)

Cinema St. Louis presents the 13th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase July 14-18 at the Tivoli Theatre.

The goal of the Showcase is to highlight films written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis area natives or films with strong local ties.

Kim Carlson

St. Louis Shakespeare’s 29th season begins July 19th with “Timon of Athens,” a story about a wealthy man who falls on hard times and, in doing so, determines his true friends.

“Timon of Athens” is one of William Shakespeare’s most obscure plays.

Colleen Kelly Starkloff has been on the forefront of the disability rights movement ever since she met her late husband, Max Starkloff, in the nursing home where he was confined due to a disabling car accident. Still a young man, Max was determined to live independently and help others in his situation do the same. 

When Aimee Wehmeier took the helm of Paraquad this past January, she was only the third CEO in the organization’s four decade history. Born with Muscular Dystrophy, she has used a wheel chair since the age of four and even served for a number of years as the MDA St. Louis Poster Child.  At age eighteen, she was able to go to school in Columbia and live independently for the first time. She feels that her life epitomizes the story of Paraquad, one of the country’s largest and oldest centers for independent living and is in awe of her new position.

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