Illinois Public Media’s popular docuseries, Classical:BTS, is back for a new season with episodes available to stream right now! Season 2 focuses on the personal journeys to and through classical music of six different performers and craftspeople based throughout central Illinois. Episode 3 premiered earlier this week, exploring the musical journey of the new conductor and music director of the celebrated Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Dr. William McClain. Throughout the episode, we take a closer look at McClain’s extensive music career and what the past year has entailed for the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra in the midst of the pandemic. You might just see Classical:BTS episodes in between your favorite programs on WILL-TV, but can also stream them anytime on our website or via the PBS Video App.
Dolly Parton & Friends: 50 Years at the Opry celebrates the country music legend’s milestone of 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry! Sing along with Dolly Parton as she delivers some of her biggest hits including “Jolene” and “9 to 5” on one of the most iconic stages in the world. Plus, some of Dolly’s superstar friends including Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, and Lady A make guest appearances throughout the special, airing Monday on WILL-TV. Also new this week is an epic film about North America’s wildest river—The Colorado. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Mark Rylance, The Colorado explores the river’s rich history and stories of exploration in the 18th and 19th centuries. Travel down the Colorado River with narrator Mark Rylance Wednesday on WILL-TV.
Honoring Octavia Butler
This Sunday on WILL-AM 580, join us in honoring award winning science fiction writer and ‘mother of Afrofuturism,’ Octavia Butler on a special episode of NPR's Throughline. A pioneer in the science fiction scene, Butler was a deep observer of the human condition, both perplexed and inspired by our tendencies towards self destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, many of her works revealing striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. Don’t miss it, Sunday at 9pm only on WILL-AM 580 and streaming live at will.illinois.edu.
A Classic Mornings celebration!
What did you, or what will you do to make your 50th birthday memorable? It could just set the tone for the 500th anniversary of your 50th birthday one day! This week in a new Classic Mornings blog post, Classic Mornings host Vic Di Geronimo celebrates the 550th birthday anniversary of German composer, organist, and theorist Michael Praetorius who wrote more than 1000 compositions throughout his life. Read more about Classic Mornings birthday celebrations on our website, and join Vic for Classic Mornings, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on WILL-FM 90.9 and online.