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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

The Art of Irving Berlin: The Prelude

James Baker

The ongoing radio series, "The Art of American Popular Song," is now into week two, with "The Art of Irving Berlin." The series will continue over the weeks ahead, through June 11, with shows devoted to Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, and others. Each show is prefaced with a Prelude, a 10-20 minute video which spotlights the intersections of the radio series with the current exhibition at the McNay's Brown Gallery, a show called Broadway: 100 Years of Musical Theatre. These Preludes afford the public an opportunity to connect some of the dots between the ear and the eye. The Preludes feature a three-way conversation among KPAC's Kathy Couser and James Baker, and the McNay's Jody Blake.

We hope this reinforces the experience and encourages those who hear the radio series, or view these Prelude videos, to venture out to the McNay to check out the exhibition. My bet is you won't be disappointed you did.

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.