As thousands of area parents drive their children to their first day of school today, they’ll have a musical treat awaiting them on 88.7 FM (Interlochen) and 94.7 FM (Traverse City).
This morning, Interlochen Public Radio’s Kate Botello introduces a new season of “Kids Commute,” a quick, daily segment intended to entertain and educate youngsters about classical music.
“I was thinking about what I had to listen to when mom was driving me to school,” recalls Botello. “And originally, I aimed the segment toward one child, just thinking what they would like to hear. Then I realized there were hordes of kids riding to school with their parents, so I really work hard to entertain and to teach about classical music.”
In addition to playing a selection from IPR’s classical musical library, Botello highlights the background of the piece and its composer.
“We’ve had some parents tell us that their kids say, ‘Don’t be late, mom, you’re gonna make me miss Kids Commute!’” says Botello, who took over the daily 7am-10am classical music morning show in January 2012 from longtime host Dick Wallace.
During the first year, Botello kept youngsters yearning for the classics by mixing themes. “Cartoon Week” featured compositions used in animated TV shows, while “Around the World” focused on international composers. “Cat Week” paid homage to felines. In December, there was a week-long look at the iconic The Nutcracker as a soap opera.
What’s ahead this season?
“We’ll be featuring "Composers From A to Z," which will run through the second week of October,” says Botello. “That will lead us up to some scary Halloween music.”
Another feature is “The Great 88,” in which Botello invites listeners to vote for the top 88 classical music compositions. Fredrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy topped the list, while a surprising piece The Moldau by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana was second. “Mozart was not even in the Top 10,” a surprised Botello tells us.
“It’s such a pleasure to do this, getting to listen and play classical music every day.”
The second season of “Kids Commute” kicks off this morning with Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky and continues daily at 7:40am each weekday.