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Music

Courtesy of Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall welcomes back one of their own this Saturday. But this is not a homecoming decades in the making.

A recent Curtis Institute of Music graduate, Bryan Anderson spent his formative years singing in the Spivey Hall Children's Choir. Tomorrow's recital, however, will not showcase Anderson's vocal talents. He will instead sit at the hall's grand organ and perform works of William Bolcom, Maurice Duruflé, Antonio Vivaldi and others.

Ralph Arvesen / flickr.com/rarvesen

This weekend in Atlanta concerts, a classic rocker tries something new, an innovative guitarist amps up the visuals and a hometown metal act hits the EARL.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for their weekly concert calendar.

Joe Holloway Jr / Associated Press

Robert Shaw called it "physical and intellectual agony." Donald Runnicles said it's "excruciatingly difficult." These two distinguished conductors are not  talking about a climb to the peak of Mount Everest; they're describing the "Everest" of Beethoven's compositions — the "Missa Solemnis."

Balazs Mohai / AP Photo/MTI

Gigantic space operas, frozen Cold War thrillers, claustraphobic westerns are just among a few of the options that members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be choosing from this year in the genre-rich category of Best Original Score.

Film music commentator Dr. Scott Stewart just got back from the red carpet world of the West Coast, and came back buzzing about the range of options that could win the gold statue next month.

Courtesy of Uzee Brown

“We'll walk hand in hand some day ... We are not afraid today ... We shall overcome some day ...”

Those words rang out during the civil rights movement, sung by folk legends like Joan Baez and by groups of protesters.

In 1999, Dr. Uzee Brown composed a full-orchestra arrangement of the "We Shall Overcome," which has been played across the country.

Diane Bondareff / Invision for Starkey Hearing Foundation/Associated Press

Glenn Frey, one of the original members and guitarist of The Eagles, is dead.

The musician, who was 67 years old when he died, met drummer Don Henley, guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner as members of the backing band of Linda Rondstadt in 1970. They formed the Eagles a year later.

Frey wrote and co-wrote many of the band's best songs, and sang lead vocals on songs including "Take It Easy," "Tequilla Sunrise" and "New Kid in Town."

You can read the whole statement from the band and Frey's family below.

Stephen Chernin / Associated Press

David Bowie's last album, "Blackstar," debuted No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the first chart-topper for the late musician.

Since it was released two days before Bowie died of cancer on Jan. 10, "Blackstar" has sold 174,000 copies, according to Nielsen Music. It's the best sales week for Bowie since Nielsen began electronically tracking music purchases in 1991.

Bowie dislodged the previous No. 1, Adele's "25," which slipped to No. 2 after seven weeks on top.

Joel Ryan / Invision/AP

This week, Atlanta plays host to some hometown hip-hop, genre-defying electronic artists and the "Material Girl" herself.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at some upcoming concerts.

Stephen Chernin / Associated Press

David Bowie, the innovative and iconic singer whose illustrious career lasted five decades with hits like "Fame," ''Heroes" and "Let's Dance," died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 69.

Representative Steve Martin said early Monday that Bowie died "peacefully" and was surrounded by family. The singer had battled cancer for 18 months.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief," the statement read. No more details were provided.

Donn Jones/Invision/AP

The stars will align personally and professionally for singer Charles Kelley in February: He is expecting his first child and releasing his first solo record apart from the country vocal group Lady Antebellum.

After years of trying to conceive, Kelley and his wife Cassie found out last year they would be parents just as the Georgia native started working on a different sound separate from his bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood. The album, "The Driver," is due out Feb. 5; their baby, a boy, is due the same month.

Laura Roberts / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This week, Atlanta plays host to an Americana success story, a super-hip local music festival and a tribute to a man who changed the Atlanta music scene forever.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the upcoming concert calendar.

Christophe Ena / Associated Press

Former New York Philharmonic principal conductor Pierre Boulez, who moved between conducting, composition and teaching over a long career that made him one of the leading figures in modern classical music, has died at age 90.

A spokesman for the Paris Philharmonic, Hamid Si Amer, confirmed that Boulez had died in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Boulez led the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra during the 1970s.

Born in Montbrison, France, Boulez initially studied mathematics as a youth before switching to music and studying at the Paris Conservatory.

Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP

Organizers of Atlanta's Sweetwater 420 Festival have added several bands to the lineup for the April 22-24 event at Centennial Olympic Park downtown.

The Roots; Dawes; Robert Randolph; Michael Franti & Spearhead; and Lucero are among several newly announced artists, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Organizers previously announced several headliners for the festival, including Kid Rock; Ludacris; and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

2016 is set to be a big year for Atlanta concerts, with visits from Adele, Madonna and the Boss himself scheduled in the coming months. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins WABE host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the most noteworthy acts and artists coming to town in the new year.

Didriks / flickr.com/dinnerseries

New Year's Eve is synonymous with sparkling champagne, and WABE contributor Dr. Scott Stewart has the perfect playlist to accompany the libations. Along with Lois Reitzes, Stewart explored the "oddly specific genre" of the drinking song.

According to Stewart, the drinking song "actually became a standard, formal element" in 19th-century opera. European traditions hopped the pond, and the operatic drinking song became a staple in American songs and musical theater at the turn of the 20th century.

Looking Forward To 2016: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Dec 28, 2015
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski will perform the works of John Williams this weekend.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

We are asking everyone in WABE's newsroom what stories they will be watching in 2016. 

"All Things Considered" host Amy Kiley says the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is planning concerts around conductor Robert Shaw's 100th birthday in April.

"Robert Shaw is one of the most famous choral conductors in the entire world probably, and he lived right here in Atlanta, and has quite a legacy that the ASO is celebrating," she said. 

Gregg Allman performs two nights at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Wednesday and Thursday.
Joe Howell / Associated Press

The post-Christmas concert calendar is full of Americana masters and jam bands taking up multi-night residencies in Atlanta's halls and clubs. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at who's ringing in the New Year on stage.

Matt Arena / flickr.com/mattarena88

Atlanta officials say rapper T.I. and rock band Sister Hazel will headline the city's "Peach Drop" this year.

Local news media report that the city announced Friday that both will perform at the Underground Atlanta. The city traditionally lowers an 800-pound peach to mark the clock striking midnight on New Year's Eve.

The event, considered the largest New Year's Eve celebration in the Southeast, also includes music and a fireworks show.

Initially, the sale of the Underground Atlanta shopping complex property to a private developer put this year's event in question.

Owen Sweeney / Invision/AP

An indie rock supergroup, a genre-busting brass ensemble and a pair of earthy duos are hitting Atlanta's clubs and concert halls this weekend. 

WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the concert calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

Elizabeth Remy Johnson

The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) lead professional lives well beyond the stage of Symphony Hall. They teach, compose, mentor, volunteer, perform ... and much more. Now, the ASO's principal harpist, Elisabeth Remy Johnson, has released her latest recording. It's called "A Christmas Collection" and it's an album of carols and holiday songs arranged for solo harp.

Cliff Schiappa / associated press file

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" continues to break sales records three decades after its release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said Wednesday the album has sold 30 million copies in the United States and Jackson is the first artist to receive 30-time multi-platinum status.

"Thriller" has been an even bigger seller overseas, with 100 million copies of the album sold worldwide since its 1982 release.

You Tube

Cooper Carter, 27, of Atlanta wanted to do something big for the Star Wars premiere.

So after two months of tedious listening to find just the right musical sounds, Carter made his own tribute to John Williams’ epic "Star Wars" theme: all 31 orchestral instruments played in unison, except mimicked on the electric guitar.

It resulted in a viral video that made "Star Wars" fans and guitar nerds alike “lose their minds,” according to Carter.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Atlantans will get the chance to say "Hello" to Adele in 2016.

On Monday, the Grammy-winning singer announced her North American tour, which will include two nights at Philips Arena on Oct. 28 and 29.

Tickets for the shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday on the singer's website.

Carla Cometto / https://www.flickr.com/photos/carla_beans/

Imagine looking out the window at an icy, hostile and frigid landscape. How would you set that scene to music? 

Commentator Dr. Scott Stewart says that is a fundamental challenge for composers attempting to musically represent winter. On the one hand, winter is a season of darkness, cold and dormancy. On the other hand, it hosts some of the most festive holidays, not to mention activities like skiing and ice skating.

Joseph Spence

The staccato twang of the banjo is not just reserved for bank robberies and the rustic outdoors.

That’s what Nashville-based banjo player Alison Brown said about her instrument. Her recent album, “The Song of the Banjo,” attempts to break down these notions of the banjo and to show its musical diversity.

Ray Stubblebine / associated press file

He’s an Academy Award winner. He was married to the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. He was associated with the Mafia. His friends included some of the most influential entertainers of his time, and most importantly, his voice is an American brand.

“In the year 2015, people are still listening to Frank Sinatra’s songs, they’re still talking about Frank, making commercials in which his voice carries the day ... He’s achieved a certain kind of American immortality,” said anthologist and poet David Lehman in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Amber / flickr.com/photos/bandfan/

This week, Atlanta plays host to a hometown hero, some indie rock darlings, an elder statesman of bluegrass and much more.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at some of the upcoming concerts in the metro area.

Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

 Southern grassroots music has never come from a place of glitz and glamour.

And now, some of its older practitioners are actually facing acute poverty. The nonprofit group Music Maker Relief Foundation formed to support Southern blues, gospel, bluegrass, and country musicians, while advocating for their music.

As part of that, a photography exhibit celebrating the work of these musicians is now up at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

amanda_munoz / flickr.com

Seasonal affective disorder. The holiday blues. No matter what it's called, melancholy seems intrinsically woven into the jolly fabric of the Christmas season. 

Those desolate sentiments are heard in Christmas music as well, with melodies and harmonies written in the minor mode. Songs in the minor key are described as "sad" or even "scary," but "City Lights" contributor Dr. Scott Stewart warns that those reactions are culturally conditioned. 

Jim Burress / WABE

Hartsfield-­Jackson Atlanta International Airport sees more passengers than any other airport on the globe. This time of year is especially busy, but this year, the airport has already broken passenger volume records.

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