Charleston

A projected "apparition" of the Carolina Parakeet, part of the installations "Carrion Cheer."
Halsey Institute

Artist Christian Orendt talks with Jeanette Guinn about The Carrion Cheer: A Faunistic Tragedy an installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on Calhoun Street as part of Piccolo Spoleto.

Reggie Workman at the Charleston Jazz Academy.
Leigh Webber

Working with jazz legends like John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and numerous others has given double bassist Reggie Workman more than a little perspective on music-making. On Monday, June 4th, the eighty-year-old exponent of hard bop and avant-garde jazz shared some of that perspective with students through a lecture/demonstration at the Charleston Jazz Academy. The academy, located on West Montague Avenue in North Charleston, absorbed the Leonard School of Music in 2017, and is the educational arm of Charleston Jazz.

Marisol Montalvo and Walter Dundervill in the US premiere of Tree of Codes, with music and libretto by Liza Lim.
William Struhs

John Kennedy talks with Jeanette Guinn about the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, and about the U.S. Pemiere of the opera, Tree of Codes.

Australian composer Liza Lim dissolves boundaries to create holes in the world—perforations in which audience members might encounter more than one existence. Two-headed birds and layers of light conjure a magical world under Director Ong Keng Sen (Facing Goya; 2014) in this dramatic work inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s art book by the same name. 

David Lee Nelson
davidleenelson.com

A comedy. About cancer. From award-winning solo performer David Lee Nelson (Elephant in My Closet) brings Stages to Piccolo Spoleto - a new play about finding hope in the most unlikely of places. Nelson talks with Jeanette Guinn about life with cancer, the play, and his plans for the future. The play runs through Saturday evening at Chapel Theatre on Calhoun St. in Charleston, SC.

Daisy Maywood and Marc Antolin in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
Steve Tanner

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall—the flying lovers of Vitebsk—are immortalized as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.

John Kennedy, conductor in residence at Spoleto Festival USA.
Spoleto Festival USA

In this episode of Spoleto Backstage, Jeanette Guinn sits down with Spoleto's busiest conductor John Kennedy who will be involved with three of this years performances: Music in Time, Tree of Codes, and You are Mine Own. We also get to hear from the conductor of Pia de Tolomei, Lidiya Yankovskaya.

Peter Moore
Twitter @peter_moore

With string quartets, piano trios, and woodwind quintets often receiving the spotlight, the trombone is seldom a contender for pride of place among instruments featured in chamber music programs. If included at all, it’s often sharing the stage with four other instruments as part of a brass quintet.

But for this year’s Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series, the trombone is representing the brass family all by itself.

Spoleto Festival USA presents the US premiere of Liza Lim's Tree of Codes, based in part on Jonathan Safran Foer's book.
Nina Jua Klein

Among the featured operas of the 2018 Spoleto Festival is Tree of Codes, a 2015 work by Australian composer Liza Lim.  The opera received its US premiere on May 26th at Dock Street Theatre, and is being performed there through June 7th under the direction of Ong Keng Sen. Performing Tree of Codes is the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, conducted by John Kennedy. Singers Elliot Madore and Marisol Montalvo fill the two on-stage roles.

The JACK Quartet
Shervin Lainez

Coordinated playing is essential for the members of an internationally-recognized string quartet... coordinated choreography, not so much.

Unless that quartet is taking on Mark Applebaum’s Darmstadt Kindergarten.

Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company presents Cimarosa's opera at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston, May 28 to May 30. Members of the Westminster Choir will accompany the opera.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company

With its humorous situations, tangle of love interests, and recognizably-flawed characters, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) is an emblematic example of eighteenth-century opera buffa. A feel-good production of its day, Il Matrimonio Segreto was the type of work that had those in an audience laughing as much at themselves as the cast members before them. In other words, relatability was one of its hallmarks.

Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music director, Geoff Nuttall.
Spoleto Festival USA

For violinist Geoff Nuttall, finding the right performers for the Bank of America Chamber Music Series is critical. 

"Everybody that comes is not only amazing and an incredible player," Geoff says, "but also super-easy to work with and a joy to hang out with."

Mayor John Tecklenburg performing at Spoleto USA, 2017.
Spoleto Festival USA

To kick off Spoleto Festival USA, we interviewed key figures and artists about their performances before they go live. Let us take you backstage to get the inside scoop from Spoleto’s general director, Nigel Redden; the mayor of Charleston, John Tecklenburg; and the director/host of the Chamber Music series, Geoff Nuttall.

Volvo Car Open on Daniel Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

You know it’s spring in Charleston when the cars are thick with yellow pollen, as well as  a colorful array of out of state license plates.  Porta- Potties line the streets, novice runners sport bright, new shoes and college kids seeking sun and warmth stretch out behind the beach dunes.  Typically, the signs appear in April, alongside two annual events; the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Volvo Car Open.

Peace Voices

Apr 16, 2018
Glenis Redmond
Peace Center

Peace Voices is a spoken word outreach program of Greenville's Peace Center that uses poetry as a vehicle to tell unique, personal stories. Participants engage in master classes with Peace Center Poet-in-Residence Glenis Redmond, both at the Peace Center and in the community.

A.T. Shire, SC Public Radio

When the celebrated maker of string instruments Antonio Stradivari put the finishing touches on the violin now known as the Ex-Nachez, Bach and Handel were barely into their toddler years and the invention of the piano was still more than a decade away. 

The rare violin has passed through the hands of many an owner and virtuoso performer since that time, but, as Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra can attest, the instrument is still in excellent playing condition.

This house on Hassel Street in Charleston got a makeover for the popular PBS program "This Old House."
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The popular series "This Old House" has been a fixture on PBS  since 1980.  It has filmed in many locations across the country, and now it has come to South Carolina.  The show recently shot the renovation of a classic single-wide home in Charleston for broadcast beginning this week.  (The series also features the renovation of a second house.)

Trowel at an archaeological dig.
HeritageDaily [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 12/01/2017) - In Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community (2016, University Press of Florida), Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum; and, Dr. Betsy Reitz, University of Georgia Athens, weave archaeology and history to illuminate this vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential, commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets, and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken.

Charleston Chief Resilience Officer Mark Wilbert at the Battery.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Mark Wilbert has been the man the city of Charleston has turned to in case of emergencies.  He helped people prepare for Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.   He was there after 9 parishioners at Mother Emanuel were killed.   Last August, he planned for a crowd of thousands in town for the solar eclipse.  Now the former city Emergency Management Director has a new job.  He's Charleston's first ever Chief Resilience officer.

Former Slave Honored at James Island's Pinckney Park

Feb 27, 2018
Friends and family unveil marker honoring Simeon Pinckney on James Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

James Island's Pinckney Park, with its colorful playground, iconic oak tree  and tire swing, is less than a  year old.  But its history goes back 150 years.  That's when a former slave bought the property just outside of Charleston.   It's still  thick with palms and pines that back up to a tributary of Parrot Creek.  His  name was Simeon Pinckney. 

"Most of the stories  that my mother told of him was him straightening someone out for not doing the right thing," said Jerome Harris.  He is the great- great grandson of Simeon Pinckney. 

Thomas Lawton Evans
Madison County Detention Center, Canton, MS

Charleston's top prosecutor confirms what many in the community have wanted to know.  Did the family of a little girl kidnaped have ties to the suspect or were they randomly targeted?

"To be crystal clear: there is NO CONNECTION between the victims in this matter and the alleged defendant," said 9th solicitor Scarlett Wilson late Friday in a Facebook post.  "They were randomly targeted."

Former Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley at the site of the planned International African American Museum.
The Citadel

There's no slowing down for Former Charleston City mayor Joe Riley.  The 75 year-old is as ambitious as ever, finalizing plans for the city's new International African American Museum.  He's even teaching a class about it this semester at his Alma Mater, The Citadel.

"I work hard on it every day," said Riley from his office on Broad Street.  He gazes out the window as he talks about a  past he says is rarely acknowledged.   "Across the street from me are historic buildings built during times of enslavement."

Surfboard Sledding in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, SC.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

A winter storm brought rare snow and ice to South Carolina's Lowcountry last week. With a thaw finally in the weather forecast for the coast, and winter weather advisories in the Upstate, it's a good time to look back on the unusual--and beautiful--sights in the greater Charleston area, as captured last week by South Carolina Public Radio's Victoria Hansen.

The Holy City Hails Near Record Snowstorm

Jan 4, 2018
Surfboard Sledding in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, SC.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Parents packed up golf carts like snow mobiles as kids grabbed their sea worthy boogie boards and headed out in search of higher ground.  Hills are hard to come by in the Lowcountry.  But then again, so is snow.  Charleston got a rare thrill Wednesday.  More than five inches of snow swirled through palm fronds and gathered on the ground.  It's the most snow the area has seen since Hurricane Hugo and it would be enjoyed.

June Scott, right, holds a picture of her son Walter. The family spoke to the press after the decision was handed down Thursday in the federal sentencing of Michael Slager.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

It was a rare sentencing following a string of officer involved, racially charged killings across the nation.  Thursday, a federal judge gave former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager 20 years behind bars for killing an unarmed man as he fled a 2015 traffic stop.  The crime was caught on witness' cell phone video.  Few officers in recent years have been convicted in such killings, much less received a lengthy punishment.  Walter Scott's family hopes the sentence sends a strong message to police across the nation.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Ashley River Road. The Ashley River Road--one of the oldest roads in South Carolina--began as a Native American trading path, paralleling the Ashley River, and later served the colonists of the original Charles Town settlement. The Lords Proprietors authorized the road in 1690. The modern road consists of an approximately fifteen-mile portion of S.C. Highway 61. During the colonial era, numerous plantations lined the route. In 1721 a law was passed to protect the shade trees along its route—a forerunner of modern ordinances that protect trees and require buffers.

World War II Veterans A Vanishing Generation

Oct 25, 2017
Families say goodbye to USS Yorktown veterans.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

95 year old Bill Watkinson and 97 year-old Arthur Leach have been coming to the USS Yorktown Reunions just outside of Charleston for decades.  Both were fighter pilots aboard the ship during World War II. But each year, they find fewer of their own.

"It's interesting to see those of us who are still standing and those of us missing," said Watkinson.  "The missing list is getting pretty long.

Dylann Roof, on federal death row for gunning down nine people two years ago at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., wants his legal team dismissed because of the lawyers' ethnicity as he seeks to have his conviction and death sentence overturned.

"My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively," Roof wrote in a letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case."

Once Irma hit, Joseph Jones of had second thoughts about his decision to ride out the storm at home.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The blistering sun is back.   But Monday's swollen flood waters from Tropical Storm Irma are slowly seeping away,  leaving a once anxious Charleston community relieved, yet tender.

"When the wind got a little stronger, nothing compared to Hugo, but I started to think my son might be right.  I should have left," said 76 year-old Joseph Jones.  He lives two blocks from the intra-coastal waterway and rode out Hurricane Hugo in his small, ground level, one story home.  "But after a while, when the water started receding after Irma, I knew I made the right decision."  He says his home saw no real damage.  But mentally he feels raw.

Updates on Tropical Storm Irma, plus a live report from harbor side in Charleston by Victoria Hansen.

Now Tropical Storm Irma is going to cause widespread flooding in Charleston at high tide today.

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