Sheldon Concert Hall | St. Louis Public Radio

Sheldon Concert Hall

After years of poor health and drug addiction, David Crosby is staging a late-career rebound. [5/13/19]
Anna Webber

David Crosby is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer twice over: inducted in 1991 for his work as a founding member of The Byrds and again six years later for the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.

That group, with the addition of Neil Young, earned its pedigree as a major voice of the Woodstock generation by famously playing its second-ever live gig at that festival, following a warmup the day before.

After years of well-publicized backstage acrimony, serious health problems and struggles with drug abuse, Crosby has emerged with a late-career renaissance. Now 77, he’s collaborating with a new circle of younger musicians and has released four albums in five years, with another on the way.

Peter Palermo grew up in Jefferson City and Grand Island, Nebraska.
Ray Marklin Photography

The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries has chosen a executive director.

Peter Palermo, who has a theater-and-music production background, comes to The Sheldon from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, where, in 2006, he was founding director of McKendree’s Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Will DeWitt says his goal with this competition is to help "the next big sound" emerge from St. Louis.  5/18/18
Jeremy D. Goodwin

Does St. Louis have talent?

OK, it’s clear the answer to that is “yes.” But an upcoming competition offers a chance for local musicians who are trying to break into the music business to have their work heard by industry insiders and maybe even get that big break.

St. Louis Sound, a music competition modeled on TV shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice,” is headed for The Sheldon Concert Hall on June 7. Bands and solo artists are invited to submit one song for consideration, with 10 finalists taking the stage the night of the event to perform and receive critiques from a panel of judges.

Indoor golf is coming to The Sheldon Art Galleries in summer 2018.
Provided | Scott MacLeod | Flickr

A St. Louis institution known for displaying paintings will temporarily change its focus to putt-putt next summer.

In June, all 6,000 square feet of The Sheldon Art Galleries will become a mini golf course.

Visitors can actually play the course, Sheldon Director Olivia Lahs-Gonzales said.

“Usually, you go into an art gallery and you’re not allowed to touch anything,” Lahs-Gonzales said. “This is an opportunity to be immersive, to have an immersive experience.”

Jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant
Mark Fitton | Courtesy of the artist

When jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant takes the stage Saturday at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, she won't be trying to sing as her storied predecessors might have.

Though the virtuoso performer has been hailed as a successor to such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter, she is very much a contemporary singer. Salvant, a Haitian-American who grew up in Miami, has grown to love jazz standards, show tunes and songs many might miss, like the Kurt Weill/Langston Hughes piece "Somehow I Could Never Believe."

But the 28-year-old also writes original compositions and through her singing wants to make her own statement about the music's past, present and future.

Overgrown greenery almost entirely obscures a gravestone at which a giant white paper mache heart is positioned.
Provided by Jennifer Colten

When Terri Williams’ daughters brought home their Black History Month assignment from school, she noticed most of the historical figures were entertainers or athletes. 

This contrasted with the uniquely heroic lives she saw represented by the figures interred at Washington Park Cemetery — people like Ira Cooper, the first black police lieutenant in St. Louis, George L. Vaughn, the attorney who fought for J.D. Shelley in the Shelley vs. Kraemer court case that eliminated courts’ abilities to enforce housing segregation.

William’s learned about such figures while researching the cemetery for the new exhibit “Higher Ground: Honoring Washington Park Cemetery Its People and Place,” which opens at The Sheldon this weekend.

From Radar Home by Amy Reidel, an illustration by Fox Smith and a file photo of poet Treasure Shields Redmond
Provided and file photos

The art of activism weaved its way more deeply into the St. Louis arts scene in 2016.

In this year’s Cut & Paste arts and culture podcasts, we brought you conversations with performers, poets and visual video artists, inspired personal experiences and cultural issues.

A selection from Amy Reidel's "Radar Home: 11.8.13"
Willis Ryder Arnold

We’ve all been touched by cancer, through someone we love or admire, or even our own. Nearly 40 percent of us will be diagnosed with the disease in our lifetime.

Three years ago, St. Louis artist Amy Reidel found out her mother had cancer. Shortly after, first one aunt, then another, got a cancer diagnosis. In the middle of it all, Reidel’s grandmother died.

From left, David Pulkingham, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and The Milk Carton Kids (Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale) perform during the Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 9, 2016.
Christian Fuchs | Jesuit Refugee Service

Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle are two of the most revered American singer-songwriters performing today. The two longtime friends and performing buddies have also never been hesitant to express their political views — or throw their generous musical weight behind causes they believe in.

The two have recently reunited, along with several other musicians such as the Milk Carton Kids, Buddy Miller and David Pulkingham, to tour the country hosting benefit concerts, titled “Lampedusa,” to raise money for Jesuit Refugee Service. The Christian organization’s mission is to “accompany, serve and advocate for rights of refugees and other displaced persons.” JRS works in 45 countries across the globe to assist refugees’ educational, health and social needs.

Tonight, the benefit makes a stop in St. Louis at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Erin Bode, Brian Owens, Diane Reeves, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, David Sanborn…these are just some of the names in local piano legend Peter Martin’s figurative rolodex. He’s performed with them all, and he’s crossed off every name on his musical bucket list—except for one.

Aine O'Connor, St. Louis Public Radio

Next week, New Line Theatre will celebrate its 25th anniversary by opening the regional premiere of “Heathers” in its brand-new digs: The Marcelle Theater, a new 150-seat black box theatre space in Grand Center built by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg.

It’s a move back to a black box for Artistic Director Scott Miller, which he says he has been hoping to do for years. In addition to changing up the set design, a challenge Scenic and Lighting Designer Rob Lippert is eager to meet, the move also heralds a change in show lineup: The theatre company will now do four shows per season.

Why put on another 9/11 concert? 'We need it.'

Sep 16, 2015
Paul Reuter - don't use larger than 300 px
Provided by the Sheldon

In 2011, a dedicated congregation of regional leaders representing arts and faith organizations gave life to a concert to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy. It is fast becoming a late-summer tradition.

That first Arts and Faith concert was a standing-room-only success -- it was also a soul-inspiring, deeply affecting success.

William Morris, Brett Williams and Meghan Grubb
Nancy Fowler

Three local artists received $1,500 each on Tuesday night to help fund projects that include home movies and ideas about the spaces where we live.

In an event at The Sheldon Art Galleries, the local Critical Mass for the Visual Arts organization named the recipients of its 2015 Creative Stimulus Awards. The money helps pay for the cost of ongoing work as well as funding new projects.

The 2015 winners are:

Electronic musician brings new flavor to Alarm Will Sound

May 27, 2015
Alarm Will Sound rehearses "Unfair for the Common Man" Ryan Mcneely
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

While studying music at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Ryan Mcneely presented one professor with a part-classical part-jazz composition. According to Mcneely, his professor reacted with a sneering question and dismissed the work.

“Why are you even here?”

‘Country Boy’ Ricky Skaggs returns to St. Louis

Feb 20, 2015
Country and bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs will perform in St. Louis on Feb. 28, 2015.
Skaggs Family Records

Ricky Skaggs started playing the mandolin in the hills of Kentucky at age 5. Fifty-five years later, he’s still in love with what he calls “old-time mountain music.”

“That real traditional thread running through the fabric of the music scene, I’ve always been drawn to that,” Skaggs told “Cityscape” guest host Jim Althoff. “I’ve always felt, too, that if that particular thread ever gets pulled out, I think the whole piece of cloth can just unravel. It’s a very important part of what we need desperately to hold on to and honor.”

Courtesy of Angel Romero

Even if you haven’t heard classical guitarist Angel Romero play, you’ve heard his influence.

“My guitar goes back so long,” he told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “They interviewed George Harrison of The Beatles. They asked him ‘How did you start playing the guitar?’ He said ‘From picking at Angel Romero’s records.’ Jimi Hendrix and all that, they told me that every single night he would put on my recordings before going to bed. My music has crossed over to them as much as theirs has crossed over to me.”

courtesy photo

When a friend asked St. Louis vocalist Denise Thimes to come to Detroit to sing for her father’s 75th birthday party, she didn’t tell her until she got there that one of the guests was Aretha Franklin. “I was shaking in my boots, to say the least,” Thimes told Cityscape host Steve Potter, but she pulled herself together and sang for the diva and the others in the audience. “She wanted to hear “The Way We Were” and I really tried to sing it to the best of my ability.  And she was very pleased with that.”

Photos provided by the Sheldon Art Galleries

The St. Louis area is crawling with photographic opportunities. Local professional Ryan Archer took advantage of one of them to win Best in Show in the Sheldon’s “The City at 250” photo contest.

Archer’s “City Museum Climbers,” entered in the “Events and People” category, garnered him $1,000 and a place in “The City at 250” exhibit, opening June 6. The competition was a collaborative effort of The Sheldon and the St. Louis Beacon, now St. Louis Public Radio. The Beacon merged in December with St. Louis Public Radio and is no longer a separate entity.

In a way, indie/pop duo Bella & Lily has been together a long time. That is if you can measure lifetimes spanning in the teen years as long. Bella (19) and Lily (15) are sisters, after all.

But the musical entity Bella & Lily was born less than two years ago, when the Ibur sisters made their debut on the St. Louis music scene. After winning a battle of the bands to earn a spot on the Loufest stage, Bella and Lily decided to focus on their musical career.

Table and Chairs
Duet Gallery

A table can connect families, foster discussion or encourage a game of cards. This weekend, a table in Grand Center also provides a canvas for artistic and cultural expression.

“Table” opened Thursday night at the new Duet art space, 3526 Washington Ave., with an evening of drinks and folk music. Friday night at 7, the custom wood design by Martin Goebel becomes the stage for a new media performance.

Scott Rackers

The Sheldon Art Galleries in Grand Center is asking for photographs documenting St. Louis, as the city celebrates 250 years.

The Arch, Busch Stadium and the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park are among the usual suspects when it comes to picturing St. Louis. But the same-old, same-old won’t cut it in a photography contest focused on the city at 250.

Bobby McFerrin is a multi-faceted vocalist.  A 10-time Grammy winner, he has blurred the lines between pop music and fine art and has inspired a generation of a cappella singers.  He is best known for his hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, which explores the limits of the human voice.  But while he is certainly pleased with the song’s success, he does not want to be defined by it.

Ricky Skaggs got an early start in music.  At the age of 5, we woke up one morning to find that his parents had left a pint sized mandolin in his bed.  A year later, he played a show with Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass  and appearances with Earl Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers followed. Before the age of 10, Scruggs was fortunate enough to have performed with three of his heroes.  “When you learn music from  masters like that at such an early age, that I did, those people stay with you,” Skaggs told St. Louis Public Radio’s Jim Althoff.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 1, 2013 - When a rock, pop, folk, soul or jazz artist goes out on tour, it’s often in conjunction with the release of a new recording. Fans of that artist turn out to hear the new music in concert. But that scenario doesn’t seem to apply for new composers who work in the contemporary classical/new music arena and are booking into larger venues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 8, 2012 - In early February 2010, pianist Peter Martin debuted a series of performances at the Sheldon Concert Hall titled “Peter Martin Music LIVE!” The first concert featured Martin performing with renowned jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, with whom he has worked as musical director for several years.

The Sheldon

The Sheldon bills itself as the perfect place for music and art and the Sheldon Concert Hall has been called “The Carnegie Hall of the Midwest.”  This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Sheldon which was named after Walter Sheldon, who founded the St. Louis branch of the Ethical Society.  The building was designed by Louis C. Spiering, the architect of the 1904 World’s Fair.

(photo by: Dan Dreyfus)

Host Steve Potter talks with St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson about the orchestra's recently completed European Tour and its 2012-2013 season. Then, St. Louis Public Radio’s Mike Schrand speaks with singer-songwriter Nick Lowe. Lowe is currently on a solo acoustic tour and performs at The Sheldon Concert Hall on Wednesday, September 26th.  Later in the show, Steve Potter talks with Rod Milam, creator and producer of the University City Musician Documentary Project.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 7, 2010 - Friday evening at the Sheldon Galleries in Grand Center was an ingathering of the clan, a rigorously unorganized group of men and women who've been interested keenly in the visual arts in St. Louis -- not just recently, but for decades. Many decades. Some for more than half a century. A long time, by any calculation.

As a group, those of us who've maintained our membership in the clan have watched with interest when activity in the arts has been supercharged and exhilarating, and with dismay when interest in drawings and paintings and sculptures has gone slack.

Sheldon shines spotlight on young musical talent

Sep 14, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 14, 2009 - It’s a showcase of young musical talent from St. Louis that has a decidedly international feel. Mei Mey Segura Wang of Costa Rica and Mariana Lanes Fernandes of Brazil are half of a classical quartet from the University of Missouri St. Louis that leads off a concert tonight at the Sheldon Concert Hall.