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August and September were whirlwind months for WDAV’s Concierto – America’s first bilingual (Spanish-English) classical music service! In this pilot phase, WDAV conducted webinars with a select group of public radio station general managers, program, and music directors to introduce the Concierto concept, offer audio samples and solicit feedback. Last week, WDAV staff attended the Public Radio Program Directors Conference (PRPD) in Denver, CO. More than 500 public media professionals gathered at this 4-day conference to discuss new programming and best practices. WDAV Program Director and Concierto Host Frank Dominguez co-moderated the panel for classical public radio stations and gave a well-received presentation on both the concept and progress-to-date of Concierto.

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS

This Saturday, October 2 at 10 p.m., WDAV in Charlotte, NC and KPBS in San Diego, CA officially launch Concierto. Tune in!  While the programming centers on the core classical music repertoire, it pays special attention to the contributions of Latin and Spanish composers and performers to the art form. Every hour of Concierto features at least one Spanish-heritage performer and/or composer, be it conductor Gustavo Dudamel, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, or Mexican composer Carlos Chavez.

Given the enthusiastic interest we received at the conference, we anticipate several additional stations will sign-on in the coming weeks to carry the 2-hour Concierto program. WDAV will work with our partner stations to develop marketing and outreach strategies for each market.

It is important to note that several public radio stations have wished us well and declined to carry Concierto. These stations are in states with a high percentage of Spanish-speaking residents – and a highly-politicized environment on immigration issues. We will keep these colleagues apprised of what we learn in the Concierto pilot phase – and hope that the show will one day become an indispensable outreach program for these communities.

In addition to our over-the-air carriage of the show, WDAV has also launched a continuous stream of Concierto programs compiled to date on our HD-2 channel. Give it a listen at concierto.org.

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