BGSU has “Top Talent”


By Liz Cope

When most Americans think about extreme talent, shows like “Dancing with the Stars” or “American Idol” come to mind. Who can forget Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough’s energizing samba performance, or watching Carrie Underwood emerge to become a multi-platinum selling recording artist? Yet each weekend devotees of classical music across America tune into their local National Public Radio station to enjoy the talent of a very different kind of performer -classical music’s most gifted emerging young stars – on the acclaimed radio show “From the Top.”

On Saturday, Sept. 28, residents of northwest Ohio will have the opportunity to experience that same magic firsthand when the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University presents “From the Top,” live with Christopher O’Riley, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall.

According to the Boston Globe. “Each program provides a compelling and entertaining window into the world of a diverse group of young people, who pursue life with passion, determination, and joy.”

“From the Top” began as a radio experiment in 2000 and has quickly become the preeminent showcase for America’s best young musicians. The show shares the performances and stories of pre-collegiate musicians from 8 to 18 years old with dedicated listeners each week. The young musicians captivate audiences with their mature musical prowess despite their youth.

The performers on each show bring formidable musical ability and inspiring stories from diverse backgrounds. “From the Top” unleashes the potential of young musicians as leaders in the arts and inspires them to take their music beyond the concert hall and engage new audiences with classical music, reaching thousands of people across the country each year.

The musicians are inspirational role models for all ages, proving the value of hard work in the pursuit of excellence.

The show in Kobacker Hall will feature 15-year-old contrabassist Lena Goodson from York, Penn.; 15-year-old pianist Patrick Pan from Houston, and the Quartet Lumiere, based at The Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago.

Host O’Riley will join the rising musicians on stage and accompany them in their performances. Between each performance, O’Riley will chat with each performer about topics such as why they chose their instrument and the most embarrassing musical moment they’ve experienced -and in so doing, will allow the passion of the young musicians to transcend radio and connect with the live audience as well as those listening on the radio.

“From the Top” has been described by the Boston Globe as “an entertaining, accessible and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits and games; the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives.”

For tickets and information, visit¬†the Festival Series website.¬†“From the Top” may be heard locally on WGTE 91.3FM on Sundays at noon. The BGSU episode will air on Nov. 4.