Title Original Air Date Description


The Ethics of Leaks 6/21/2013 Leaking, whistleblowing, the NSA…there seems to be no such thing as “mind your own business.” But America actually has as long and illustrious history of imparting morally dubious information to an unsuspecting public. Travis Anderson from BYU’s Department of Philosophy, Richard Davis from BYU’s Department of Political Science, and Dale Cressman from BYU’s Department of Communications form a Thinking Aloud panel to discuss the ethics associated with leaking information.


Animation 8/27/2012 Today’s animated movies can be amazing triumphs of entertainment. On Thinking Aloud BYU Animation professor Ryan Woodward gives a behind-the-scenes look at the life and stresses of an animator. Woodward also discusses his new, animated comic book app Bottom of the Ninth.
John Cage 7/18/2012 Christian Asplund and Michael Hicks, both members of the BYU composition faculty, discuss the importance of John Cage’s music for the centennial year of his birth.
Media Music 5/24/2012 Christian Asplund and Michael Hicks, both members of the BYU composition faculty, discuss the importance of John Cage’s music for the centennial year of his birth.
Of Mice and Men – Opera 5/7/2012 An opera based on Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”? Yes, and it’s beloved worldwide. Carlisle Floyd, the “godfather” of American opera composers, writes what he knows, and his resultant contribution to the arts is singular and revered. Floyd speaks with guest host Luke Howard about this and several of his other famed operatic works.
Divine Comedy 4/20/2012 Members of BYU’s popular sketch comedy troupe, Divine Comedy, join Thinking Aloud to divulge all their secrets about putting on a show that works.
Anti-Mormon Melodrama 3/23/2012 Theater historian Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the portrayal of Mormons on the late 19th century stage.
Home Movies 2/27/2012 Is there an artful way to make home movies? Can we capture small snippets of our lives and transform them into mini-documentaries that might be of interest to someone who doesn’t even know us? Film professors Dean Duncan and Tom Russell join Thinking Aloud to discuss more meaningful home movies.
Wit 1/18/2012 Luke Howard discusses a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. How does the film intersect with the poetry of John Donne and 20th century classical music? Join us, as we begin thinking aloud.


Art of Composition 12/12/2011 Most of us probably think of composers as solitary figures, bent over a writing desk or plunking it out on a piano. So it may come as a surprise that coaching, constructive criticism, and something along the lines of master classes can be painful, yes, but also pay off with better music. Composer Steve Ricks joins Thinking Aloud, along with two of his BYU music composition students, to discuss the whys and wherefores of coaching composers.
Franz Liszt 11/18/2011 The American Piano Duo comes to Thinking Aloud to celebrate Liszt’s bicentennial.
Yankee Spirit 10/13/2011 Art historians Kerry Soper and James Swensen join Thinking Aloud to discuss just what characteristics make American art American — is it subject matter? Nationality of artist? Themes? An intangible spirit? All of the above? Or maybe something else entirely?
Fidelio 10/3/2011 As prolific as he was, Beethoven produced just one opera. Thinking Aloud joins Christopher McBeth, artistic director of Utah Opera, and music historian Luke Howard to discuss in what ways Fidelio is an opera marked by Beethoven’s signature optimism.
Dutch Papercutting with Martha Peacock 9/7/2011 The definition of high art has long been a controversial and fluid term. What exactly is to be included in the high esteem of high art? Martha Peacock from BYU’s department of Art History joins Thinking Aloud to discuss how high art just might include more than you think.
Children’s Theatre 6/17/2011 There’s something special that happens in a darkened theater, when the red curtain parts and the audience is whisked away to another world. On Thinking Aloud we’re speaking with Julia Ashworth, Amy Jensen, and Jeffrey Martin from BYU’s Theatre and Media Arts department about the magical influence of theatre, and not just on adults, but on children too.
Persuasion Preview 3/14/2011 We preview BYU’s production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with Barta Heiner, the play’s director, Melissa (Mel) Leilani Larson, who adapted the novel for BYU’s stage production, and Aspen Anderson, founder of the Utah Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Cinderella Preview 2/4/2011 Join Thinking Aloud for a discussion about the upcoming performance of Prokofiev’s Cinderella. We’ll speak with Shani Robison and Lynne Thompson from the Dance Department as well as three of the dancers and their acting coach, Rodger Sorenson from the TMA Department, to see why this performance has so much more to offer its audiences.


Eric Hansen 10/27/2010 When composers won’t compose for your instrument, it turns hungry musicians into self-styled musical thieves.
Nature and Nurture 10/25/2010 Talking with Chris Thornock about his art exhibition at BYU titled “Nature and Nurture: Narratives of the Family.”
Great Works Monday: Pride and Prejudice 8/2/2010 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has become part of the canon of Western literature, and it has a huge fan following. Why does this story still speak to us today, in both the original novel form and its many adaptations? We’ll explore the subject with four guests: two who are BYU professors and two who are integrally involved with its production at this year’s Shakespearean festival.
Pride and Prejudice 6/28/2010 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has become part of the canon of Western literature, and it has a huge fan following. Why does this story still speak to us today, in both the original novel form and its many adaptations? We’ll explore the subject with four guests: two who are BYU professors and two who are integrally involved with its production at this year’s Shakespearean festival.
Mysteries of Monster Grove 5/24/2010 Mysteries of Monster Grove is a play about monsters, designed for young audiences. Writer Rick Walton and director Eric Samuelsen discuss the play’s development and how it appeals to a young audience. For more information about Mysteries of Monster Grove visit byuarts.com
Beehive Stories 5/17/2010 Beehive Stories is a documentary series that, upon completion, will feature a short documentary about 29 residents from different counties in Utah. Producer Brad Barber and BYU student Travis Pitcher discuss the origin, purpose, and production process of the series and its attempts to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a Utahn?”
Eye of the Beholder 4/28/2010 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live as Helen Keller did? No sound. No sight. Today’s Thinking Aloud show is an audio documentary on a modern Helen Keller. The Eye of the Beholder was written, produced, and narrated by Anna Staker, a senior in BYU’s Department of Communications and recipient of the 2009-2010 Owen S. Rich fellowship honoring the founder of KBYU-FM.
BYU Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Preview 4/9/2010 Tomorrow the BYU School of Music presents the final concert in a 3-part series celebrating the 50th anniversary year of Classical 89. In this half-hour Marcus Smith first talks with Joseph Sowa, the composer of a work to be premiered, titled “Summer Has Ten Thousand Stars.” In a second segment he chats with violinist Monte Belknap and cellist Julie Bevan about the Stradivarius instruments they graciously brought into the radio studio for our ocular observation and upon which they will perform tomorrow evening with the Philharmonic.
As You Like It 4/1/2010 A play about violence, power, and betrayal.  It’s also a tale of love, romance, and the importance of community. Join us as we discuss these interesting contrasts with the director of BYU’s current production and a Shakespeare expert.
Blood Wedding 3/15/2010 Weddings are usually happy, festive occasions.  Not so in BYU’s current production of Blood Wedding, a Spanish tragedy of passion and betrayal that pits duty and cultural expectations against individuality and love. Join host Marcus Smith as he talks with the director and choreographer of BYU’s Blood Wedding.
Scott Holden 3/12/2010 Okay, I suppose I should qualify that, or elaborate a bit. This is what a piano sounds like when played unconventionally, not necessarily striking the keys with finger tips to produce the expected timbres and tones, but eliciting unfamiliar sounds, using a host of curious techniques. I suppose one would need to know how basic, raw vibrations originate and also how they can be shaped and altered and adjusted. A vibrating piano is a vibrating piano, no matter how you slice, dice, or fry it. The oscillations can begin on the piano string, or somewhere else altogether in the metal and wood frame of the soundboard. Music is sound, and sound is vibration, and if you somehow manage to get those vibrations to come out of a piano, then by definition, you are playing it…. And that, is all I meant when I said, “This is what a piano sounds like.”
Stanley Crouch 3/8/2010 Stanley Crouch wrote: “She heard an alto saxophone, then a tenor join in, and a drummer had put down his plate to sit behind the traps, laying out a wide, medium-slow pong-pong-pong-pong on the cymbal, the reverberation stepping into her bloodstream as a bass line.”  Best known as a jazz critic and essayist, Stanley Crouch visits with Marcus Smith.
Great Works Monday: Frederic Chopin 3/1/2010 Today is the 200th birth anniversary of Frederic Chopin, a mastermind of musical composition and performance.  Like Mozart, in the century before him, Chopin died before reaching the age of 40.  Today we visit with BYU Music Faculty artists Scott Holden and Robin Hancock about Chopin’s music and genius.
Thousand Cranes 2/8/2010 Some have called World War II, America’s “just” war. But because wars involve people as well as nations, there are always acts of injustice along the way. “Collateral Damage” is the euphemism that refers to the death and suffering inflicted upon the innocent. “A Thousand Cranes” is the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl from Hiroshima who survived the blast of the atomic bomb, only to die a decade later of leukemia caused by radiation. Today we speak with three BYU faculty members about the life and legacy of Sadako, what happened to the city where she lived, and what is now recognized as an American injustice immediately following Pearl Harbor. Julia Ashworth (BYU Theatre and Media Arts) is currently directing Kathryn Shultz Miller’s play “A Thousand Cranes,” on stage at BYU. Byron Daynes (BYU Political Science) teaches a class that studies Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, with a specific focus on the Topaz camp in Utah. Jason Lanegan is the gallery manager of the Harris Fine Arts Center on the BYU campus. He is curator of the current exhibit called “A Thousand Cranes,” a memorial for Sadako and those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Vocal and Instrumental: BYU’s School of Music 1/28/2010 On today’s Thinking Aloud we talk with Scott Holden, Jaren Hinckley, and Diane Thueson Reich.  Holden is a Horowitz prize-winning department chair of piano and organ studies at BYU.  Hinckley holds a Masters Degree in Clarinet Performance.  Reich is a soprano and a Professor of Voice.


BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview 11/19/2009 We’re talking about the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance tonight with Kory Katseanes, director of BYU’s School of Music, and Alexander Jiménez, guest conductor for the program. The Orchestra will be performing Tchaikovsky”s Symphony No. 5, among other pieces.
Hands on a Camera 11/9/2009 Hands on a Camera is a BYU service-learning project that puts video cameras in the hands of public school children who are then taught how to shoot and produce their own films. Interviewed on this program were BYU Theatre and Media Arts faculty member Amy Petersen Jensen, along with graduate student, Erika Hill, the coordinator of the project, and East Shore High School teacher Amberly Phillips.
The King’s Singers 10/28/2009 They are one of the most sought-after vocal ensembles in the world ? combing close harmony with a wide vocal range. And lucky for us, three members of the King’s Singers are our guests on today’s Thinking Aloud. The King’s Singers will be performing with the BYU Singers in the de Jong Concert Hall on the BYU campus at 7:30 p.m tonight. On Thursday the King’s Singers will be joined by the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Choir in a pops concert.
Faces of China 10/7/2009 What happens when you spend a month in China taking photographs? We’ll find out when Host Marcus Smith talks to BYU Professor Dr.John Telford along with students Jessical Bingham Kehl and Reed Rowe. Their photographic experiences in China will be on exhibit in the B.F. Larsen Gallery in the Harris Fine Arts Center from October 2, 2009 through October 14, 2009. The title of the exhibit is: Faces of China.
The Tempest on Stage at BYU 9/18/2009 How do you stage a Shakespeare play for an audience that wiggles and giggles and squirms? How about for an audience that’s really just beginning to read and think and understand? Shawnda Moss is director of The Tempest in an adaptation for a potentially tempestuous, underage audience. She joins us to talk about this play and BYU’s Theatre for Young Audiences on today’s Thinking Aloud.
Dream of Gerontius 8/12/2009 Two rare performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius are coming this week to Salt Lake’s Cathedral of the Madeleine as part of the edifice’s centennial celebration. Before you go, you can enjoy much more than just a hasty last-minute reading of program notes. Music historian Luke Howard joins us for a concert preview.
Great Works: Citizen Kane 8/3/2009 The film character Charles Foster Kane, the movie director Orson Welles, and the media mogul William Randolph Hearst form an unholy trinity, at least, in some minds. Each man was tragically ambitious and hubristic you might say. Their legacies and personae have become inextricably interwoven by a single piece of art, a classic movie called Citizen Kane. Sharon Swenson from the BYU department of Theater and Media Arts, Joel Campbell from the department of Communications, and Monte Swain from the BYU School of Accountancy discuss Citizen Kane, our selection for Great Works today on Thinking Aloud.
Hagen Haltern Art Exhibition 6/15/2009 After 31 years as an artist and educator at BYU, Hagen Haltern retires this week. Throughout his career Haltern has advocated a position that the most meaningful art will always have spiritual foundations. His exhibition, “Visionism: The Art Based on Messianic Light, the Greatest Variety in Strongest Unity,” is on display at the Orem Public Library.
The Giver 6/8/2009 Each year only one author receives the prestigious Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature. Lois Lowry is one of only five authors to receive the award twice. We’re discussing her Newbery award-winning book, The Giver, a thoughtful and compelling story about identity and choice. The adapted play can be seen on stage at BYU through the end of this week.
Where the Ball Drops: A History of Times Square 5/15/2009 The magnificent story of Times Square and its eponymous building, told by a scholar-storyteller, may help us remember that giant relic in the heart of a giant city … a building that says more about our society, who we are, and what we value, than merely “News, news, read all about it!” We’re discussing Times Square and the history behind it with Dr. Dale Cressman, an award-winning journalist who teaches in the BYU Department of Communications.
Concert Preview: Orpheus Winds Quintet 5/7/2009 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we’re talking to April Clayton, Christian Smith, and Laurence Lowe, a few members of the Orpheus Winds wind quintet. They’re here to discuss their group, their music, and their upcoming events. For more information about Orpheus Winds – /index.php?id=509
Best Care for Your Piano 5/1/2009 Our treatment of pianos stems from our level of esteem for them, or in some instances simply our ignorance about them. We hope to remedy some of that ignorance in a conversation with Keith Kopp, an experienced piano technician who has “seen it all.” Must you always tune your piano after moving it? We’re debunking some myths and offering some advice.
Macbeth on Stage at BYU 3/19/2009 Our world of the 21st century probably resembles the world of Shakespeare far more than the world of Shakespeare fits the world of Macbeth. If ever there was a usurpation, this is it. This new story has essentially become the only real Macbeth to us. And as it happens, the story is currently on stage at BYU.
Classical Music in New Zealand 3/6/2009 Music in the 21st Century has become as diverse and far reaching as the people who make it. As music progresses and develops, many have questioned, “Whither classical music?” We may not have the answers, but our guests live, work, and thrive in the classical music scene of New Zealand. They discuss their own artistic niche and what it means in the musical soundscape of the 21st Century.
BYU Theatre Ballet 3/5/2009 We love a good collaboration, an artistic melding of singular talents into something new. The BYU Theatre Ballet has brought together three massive talents into one performance. We’re discussing the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and his interpretation of Shakespeare’s timeless play, Romeo and Juliet. And if Prokofiev and Shakespeare weren’t already enough to interpret, the Theatre Ballet will also perform Leonard Bernstein’s own timeless production, West Side Story.
Great Works: Berenice by Jean Racine 3/2/2009 Tragedy usually means calamity. Stock formulas call for violence, bloodshed, mayhem, or-the ultimate misfortune-death. But the French playwright Racine rethought all this, introducing a twist perhaps more compelling and less predictable than we’ve come to expect. Today on Great Works Monday, we’ll feature a conversation about Racine’s classic Berenice. Just in time, fortunately, for a new production of this play at BYU.
Baroque Poetry to Music 2/26/2009 We talk about the “music of poetry”; the concept isn’t really new. But today we’re Thinking Aloud with an interpreter of poetry who has used his interdisciplinary expertise–expertise in language and literature as well as musical know-how and ability–to take poetic interpretation in a fully musical direction. Our guest, Russell Cluff, is a BYU Professor of Spanish.
Scott Holden Recital 2/23/2009 Faculty artist and chair of BYU’s piano and organ studies, Scott Holden, will appear in recital, performing works by Haydn, J.S. Bach and others at 7:30 p.m tomorrow night. The performance is free, and tickets are not required.
BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview 2/9/2009 The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Kory Katseanes, will perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Georg Druschetzky’s Concerto for Oboe and Tympani with faculty artists Geralyn Giovannetti and Ronald Brough at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $11, or $8 with BYU or student ID, and may be purchased online by phone at (801) 422-4322 or in person at the Harris Fine Arts Center Ticket Office.
Christian Asplund Recital 1/29/2009 The music composition faculty of BYU is known for a forward-looking stance. As often as not, they discover new things, new ways of doing things, and new experiences. Christian Asplund is one of these composers and we’re discussing what you’ll hear at an upcoming performance, just how novel it is, and why you should hear this music.
Japanese Puppetry 1/8/2009 Bunraku is a traditional form of Japanese puppet theater over three centuries old. The Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe is the first traditional Japanese puppet troupe to form in North America. They are professionally trained in Japan and will perform at BYU on January 16 and 17. Learn a little more about this exquisite art form.


200 Years of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony 12/19/2008 On December 22, 1808, Beethoven personally conducted the historic concert in Vienna that premiered his Symphonies 5 and 6, his 4th Piano Concerto, and his Choral Fantasy. Music historian and scholar Luke Howard discusses the story and music of this epic premiere.
Opera Soprano Diane Reich 11/7/2008 Soprano Diane Thueson Reich has been a multiple Metropolitan Opera Audition winner in both the Utah and Indiana Districts. Her performance roles include Marguerite in Faust, Nanetta in Falstaff, MimÁ¬ in La Bohème, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. She will perform a recital tomorrow evening at 7:30, in BYU’s Madsen Recital Hall, with a program featuring art song by contemporary American composers.
Great Works: Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz 11/3/2008 Symphonie Fantastique is a piece of program music which tells the story of “an artist gifted with a lively imagination” who has “poisoned himself with opium” in the “depths of despair” because of “hopeless love.” As part of Thinking Aloud’s Great Works series, we’re discussing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique with two BYU scholars on French and Music.
Golden Section 10/17/2008 We’re discussing an aesthetic idea, one that has run through the minds of a mathematician, an Italian guy named Fibonacci, an inventor, a composer, a painter, and even an architect. From Pythagoras to da Vinci to Thinking Aloud, the idea of an ideal aesthetic and mathematical balance continues in the Golden Section. We’ll fill you in on the age-old argument that maintains five-eighths is better than one-half, at least visually … or musically … even architecturally. We’re thinking aloud with Thomas Durham, who serves as an associate director of the BYU School of music. He also holds the appointment of Executive Director of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.
Music from Afar 8/20/2008 BYU music professor Jeremy Grimshaw recently returned from Bali with a truckload of fascinating instruments. This fall, he will form the first-ever BYU gamelan orchestra. The gamelan orchestra is comprised of numerous ornate instruments that resemble a sort of glorified xylophone. But the sound is much different. Professor Grimshaw is in the studio with two Bali instruments and a quick hand to demonstrate their exotic sounds.
Jazz Citizen 7/23/2008 The simplicity yet depth of a jazz trio – piano, bass, drums – may be able to teach us certain skills of democracy that cannot be demonstrated in any other music … perhaps. Some boldly proclaim jazz as America’s great contribution to music, but our guests, Gregory Clark and Stephan Lindeman, suggest that jazz may resemble America more than represent it.
New Era in News and Information 7/11/2008 With the onslaught of blogs and news available on network websites, the world of broadcasting is certainly changing. But, how exactly? BYU Communications experts Dale Cressman and Quint Randle join Marcus Smith on today’s Thinking Aloud to discuss the changing landscape of news and information media.
Pageants and Patriotism 6/30/2008 Americans love a good pageant, or at least we used to. Just how pertinent are these pageants today? From the first Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl half-time show, we enjoy large, grand, celebratory events. We’re discussing the history behind our proclivity for pageantry with Megan Sanborn-Jones, coordinator for  Theatre Arts studies program.
A Conversation with Painter Robert Marshall 6/27/2008 Robert Marshall came to BYU as the football team’s quaterback and will soon retire from the university as a prominent artist and educator. We’re ruminating about his entrance into the artistic world and what he has learned along the way.
Ol’ Blue Eyes – Frank Sinatra 5/22/2008 Frank Sinatra began his singing career around 1940 and quickly became a teen idol known as “the voice.” His ability to sell a song made him an enduring star for over 50 years. The U.S. Postal Service packed all that fame into a commemorative stamp, issued on May 13, 2008 to mark the tenth anniversary of Sinatra’s death. Wes Sims is Thinking Aloud about Frank Sinatra, the man and his music, with two BYU faculty members. Ray Smith is Director of Jazz Studies at BYU, and Mark Purves is from the Germanic Studies and Slavic History and in addition is a member of the International Sinatra Society.
Cartoonist Ric Estrada (Part II) 4/11/2008 On today’s Thinking Aloud, part two of our conversation with cartoonist Ric Estrada. In part one, Estrada recounted some main threads of his life story that led from his native Cuba by way of New York City to Europe. The conversation in part two moves toward a discussion of issues, values, and trends in the world of animation, cartooning, and illustrating. Ryan Woodward of the BYU Visual Arts Department rejoins us for this conversation.
Cartoonist Ric Estrada (Part I) 4/10/2008 Ernest Hemingway encouraged him to pursue an art career. He left his native Cuba for New York to study drawing, color, and design. His unremitting passion through life has been drawing, drawing, and more drawing–a passion that eventually made him one of the most prolific and admired cartoonists and animators. Today and tomorrow, we bring you a two-part interview with Utah resident Ric Estrada, recipient of the Inkpot Award for Lifetime Achievement in comics. Ryan Woodward of the BYU Department of Visual Arts also joins us for this conversation.
Forty Years Since ’68: Reflections on a Turbulent Year 4/4/2008 April 4 marks forty years to the day since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Michael Hicks of the BYU School of Music will mark the occasion in the evening, with a performance of folksongs and ballads from the ’60s, interspersed with some poetry and even some audio of one of King’s famous public addresses. We take the occasion to reflect on the cultural legacy of that era. Guests Michael Hicks (who brings his guitar along) and scholar Phillip Snyder of the BYU Department of English, who specializes in topics and themes connected with the ’60s, discuss this turbulent decade.
BYU Orchestral Concert Preview: A Newell Dayley World Premiere 3/31/2008 On Thursday, April 3, the Brigham Young University Chamber Orchestra presented the world premiere of Newell Dayley’s latest piece, “A Perfect Brightness of Hope.” The Chamber Orchestra will perform at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall this spring. Today, we’re Thinking Aloud about “Perfect Brightness of Hope” with composer Newell Dayley, singer Jennifer Welch-Babidge, and trumpet player Nathan Botts.
Tribute to Reid Nibley 3/17/2008 Music educator, pianist, and composer Reid Nibley left an indelible impression on his students, audiences, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers. His passing in late February 2008 has offered all who knew him occasion for tremendous sorrow at his loss, and yet also occasion for celebration of his magnanimous spirit and rare artistry. We’re dedicating an hour to celebrating, reminiscing, and honoring our friend, Reid Nibley. Our guests are Truman Madsen, a friend of Reid’s for decades, he and Reid having lived in the same LDS ward and the same Provo Utah neighborhood, and Richard Anderson, a piano professor at BYU as well as a former student and former colleague of Reid’s.
Utah Symphony Director Keith Lockhart on the Music of George Crumb 3/13/2008 Members of the Utah Symphony Orchestra performed music by George Crumb and his son David Crumb on March 14 at BYU. Guests for this interview are Utah Symphony Music Director Keith Lockhart and composer Stephen Jones, Dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. The topic ranges from the musical art of George Crumb specifically to more general concerns such as the educational role of symphonies and the varying degrees of public receptiveness to the new, the experimental, and the avant garde. Program features: Keith Lockhart, conductor Gerald Elias, violin GEORGE CRUMB: Excerpts from “Makrokosmos,” DAVID CRUMB: “September Elegy,” GEORGE CRUMB: “Ancient Voices of Children”
Nature Photography 3/12/2008 Professionally, Darrell Stacey is a physician; avocationally Stacey is a photographer. His photograph of a green lizard on a red blade of grass earned him the Best of Show award in this year’s nature photography competition at the Monte L. Bean Life Sciences Museum at BYU. His story is particularly interesting not only because of his artistry, but because he had never entered any photographic competition before this one. Our conversation with Stacey is joined by one of the adjudicators for this year’s competition, photography professor Paul Adams of BYU.
A Tribute to Clyn Barrus 3/7/2008 We honor conductor Clyn Barrus, who died just over ten years ago. The BYU Chamber Orchestra, once conducted by Barrus himself, performed a tributary concert on Saturday, March 8 in the de Jong Concert Hall.
What Is the Future of the Animal We Call an Orchestra? 2/22/2008 A national conference is underway in Utah, with members from far and wide attending the 2008 meeting of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). Brigham Young University is hosting the event. We take the opportunity to invite the president and vice president of CODA to crystal ball about the future of orchestras and the role of music educators in shaping that future. Steve Heyde is the president of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). He travels across the country and around the world as a guest conductor, working with professional and student orchestras and musicians. Alexander Jimenez serves as vice president of (CODA) and also currently serves as a board member of the College Music Society. Kory Katseanes is director of orchestras at Brigham Young University.
BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview: A Libby Larsen Premiere 2/21/2008 The BYU Philharmonic premiered a new composition by distinguished American composer, Libby Larsen. The concert overture is titled “Bach 358”; also on the program is the Mahler Symphony No. 4. We’re talking with Libby Larsen, conductor Kory Katseanes, and literary scholar Alan Keele (Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages) in a concert preview.
BYU Opera Singer Rachel Willis-Sorensen 2/15/2008 We’re getting to know nouveau talent–a new talented voice on the scene. BYU Vocal Performance student Rachel Willis-Sorensen is headed to New York to audition in a highly competitive contest at The Metropolitan Opera House. She’s talking about her journey to the world-renowned Lincoln Center stage at the Met.
Media Coverage of Campaigns 2/1/2008 In the last decade, it seems that voting machines, primaries, red and blue states, and the whole political gamut have been popular topics for media outlets, internet blogs, and even late-night comedians. Sometimes political neutrality seems nonexistent, depending upon who’s actually telling the story. How transparent is the process of informing the public, particularly during an election season? To what extent is the messenger, namely the media, actually altering the message? Experts from BYU’s Political Science and Communications Departments weigh in on media coverage of campaigns. Kelly Patterson  teaches American politics, Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections, Public Opinion, and Political Theory (BYU Department of Political Science). Robert Walz teaches Broadcast Journalism  (BYU Department of Communications) and is currently a freelance reporter for Utah’s ABC 4 News.  Wes Sims serves as News Director at BYU Broadcasting and has extensive experience as a broadcast journalist reaching back four decades.
Remembering President Gordon B. Hinckley 1/28/2008 We’re remembering President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley. The 97-year-old President Hinckley passed away Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 7 p.m. of causes incident to age, in his Salt Lake City apartment, surrounded by his family. As the 15th president of the Church, President Hinckley led the Church for nearly 13 years. Join Wes Sims as he hosts Stephen Jones, Dean of the BYU Department of Fine Arts and Communications, and Dr. Richard Cowen of the BYU Department of Religious Studies, as we remember President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Midsummer Night’s Dream 1/25/2008 What happens when you take an Amazonian warrior queen and an Athenian ruler, introduce an ever-shifting love-quadrangle, throw in a quarreling worldly king and queen and their earthy servants, add an Indian changeling, and toss in a lovably pompous troupe of British clowns? You get a “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Our guests know this play inside and out. We’ll be talking to Rick Duerden (English Department), Megan Sanborn Jones, director of the play (Theatre and Media Arts), and graduate student Marel Stock (Theatre and Media Arts).
Christian Asplund Recital 1/23/2008 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we talk with Christian Asplund, Diane Reich, Jennifer Welch-Babidge and Scott Holden.
Conversation with Frederica von Stade 1/17/2008 The New York Times hails world-renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade as “one of America’s finest artists and singers.” Her reputation always precedes her, not just as a phenomenal talent, but as a compassionate, approachable human being. Von Stade is an artist in great demand, and so we were fortunate to catch up with her by phone this week. In this half-hour, Jennifer Welch-Babidge of the BYU School of Music, who has shared the Metropolitan Opera Stage with Frederica von Stade, joins with Marcus Smith to co-host this interview on Thinking Aloud.


The War: Ken Burns 11/29/2007 In March of 2007, PBS documentary producer Ken Burns visited BYU. Since his visit, the country has been digesting his latest epic-length product, more than a dozen hours of an audio-visual narrative titled “The War.” How has this World War II documentary been received? Today on Thinking Aloud, we’ll weigh in on the relative merits and demerits of the documentary with Mark I. Choate (BYU History Department), Dean Duncan (BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts), and Sterling Van Wagenen is an award-winning film producer and director as well as a member of BYU Broadcasting’s Executive Management Team, and the Director of Content and Media Integration, overseeing content acquisition and creation for all of BYU Broadcasting.
Treasures of a Child 11/14/2007 Thinking Aloud talks with artist Katie Kennington and BYU professor of art Byron Draper.
Belshazzar’s Feast 11/9/2007 A young brilliant composer name William Walton gives an unmistakable rhythm to the ancient Babylonian prince Belshazzar. The sounds of Belshazzar on today’s Thinking Aloud, along with guests Kory Katseanes, director of orchestras, Crawford Gates, former director of the music program, and Shane Warby, soloist.
BYU Fall Theatre Season Preview 11/1/2007 On today’s Thinking Aloud we talk with Barta Heiner, Laurie Harrop-Purser, and Janet Swenson, all faculty members from the BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts, about the current season of drama on stage at BYU.
The Press and the Courts 10/26/2007 Following up on the visit of Chief Justice John Roberts to BYU, today’s Thinking Aloud will consider some of the pivotal issues informing the freedoms and privileges enjoyed, and sometimes not enjoyed, by members of the press. Scholar, journalist, and lawyer Ed Carter of the BYU Communications Department joins us today.
Michael Hicks 10/25/2007 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we talk with singer, pianist, and composer Michael Hicks.
Flexible Music 10/22/2007 We’re bending your ear a bit on Thinking Aloud today. We’re talking to a member of the New York musical ensemble Flexible Music. The group will appear as guests of BYU’s School of Music, performing Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall. The New York-based group will present new works by BYU composer Steven Ricks and BYU alumnus Ethan Wickman. The program also includes pieces by John Link, Mikel Kuehn and Dutch composer Louis Andriessen.
The Carillon Bell Tower 9/14/2007 In the United States, you’ll find only 148 of these instruments, worldwide only about 500. You can’t sign up for lessons on it with your local high school band or orchestra, and it’s impossible to hit the road with it for a tour. You play it with your fists, and also your feet. It’s louder than a bagpipe, and you don’t need to wear a kilt to play it in good form. We’re talking about the instrument known as the carillon, on today’s Thinking Aloud with carilloneurs Don Cook and Neil Thornock.
Edvard Grieg’s Lyrical Piano 9/4/2007 On the centennial of the death of Edvard Grieg, we discuss the Norwegian composer’s collection of 66 short pieces for piano, his lyric pieces. Our guests are Jeffrey Shumway of the BYU School of Music and Dean Duncan from the Department of Theatre and Media Arts.
How Franklin S. Harris Saved Brigham Young University 8/17/2007 He was a farm boy living in Mexico who made his way to Cornell to study agronomy, then later almost single-handedly saved Brigham Young University from extinction. Along the way he managed to establish the first College of Fine Arts west of the Mississippi. The improbable strands in this story are woven together for us by archivist Gordon Daines, in a profile of Franklin S. Harris (the same Harris who is an eponym for the Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU).
What Bach Thought Music Was All About 5/11/2007 How do we make use of music? Is it amusement, entertainment, an interesting hobby, or a mental game? Philosopher James Siebach and musicologist Douglas Bush participate in this discussion to consider various uses, functions, or reasons for the making of music, against the backdrop of the known philosophy and perspective of the great Johann Sebastian Bach.
BYU Philharmonic Orchestra: Easter Concert Preview 4/4/2007 The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra looks toward the Easter holiday and related themes in its Wednesday evening program, featuring “Blue Cathedral,” by Jennifer Higdon, “The Russian Easter Festival Overture,” by Rimsky-Korsakov, and the tone poem “Death and Transfiguration,” by Richard Strauss.
PBS Film Documentarian Ken Burns 3/26/2007 Documentary maker Ken Burns joins Thinking Aloud in a conversation about his art, craft, and style. We ask him about some of the underlying premises of his career and his work. Burns is the PBS living legend of documentary history. Amongs his Herculean efforts are the three series that form a trilogy: “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” and “Jazz.” BYU student Hannah Richardson joins us for the conversation. Richardson is studying to be a documentary film producer herself.
Hamlet on Stage at the BYU Pardoe Theatre 3/21/2007 David Morgan, director for the current stage production of Hamlet at BYU, joins with stage manager Michelle Schovaers and dramaturg Melanie Antuna in this discussion. They shed some light on the ins and outs of this production: why are they revisiting this Shakespearean mainstay, and what does this particular BYU staging add to the long queue of Hamlet interpretations?
Choral Concert Preview 3/16/2007 This weekend, there will be room on the de Jong Concert Hall stage for both a Mendelssohn motet, AND the 1967 Beetles tune “Penny Lane.” You know, “Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes”? Choral Concert programs at BYU are always carefully chosen, and with a spirit of innovation. This week’s program will be no exception. Join Thinking Aloud for a preview of Friday and Saturday performances of the BYU Singers and the Concert Choir.
Utah Symphony at BYU Preview 3/15/2007 New Assistant Director for the Utah Symphony David Cho joins us today to give us a preview of the concert that will be broadcast live today from the DeJong Hall on BYU Campus.
The Artistic Spectrum from Abstractionism to Realism 3/9/2007 The abstract and the real come into focus, in an interview with some visual artists who live among us. The sensory experience of art may or may not have to do with meaning. Yet is meaning so easily circumvented? This interview is occasioned by recent exhibits by two student artists from the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. Faculty mentor Robert Marshall joins us for the conversation. Marshall was among the painters commissioned to paint murals for the LDS Nauvoo Temple.
Philharmonic Concert Preview 2/19/2007 Kory Katseanes and Thomas L. Durham give us a preview of the February 20, 2007, concert performance. Kory Katseanes is Director of Orchestras and Associate Director of the Brigham Young University School of Music. Thomas L. Durham teaches composition and theory classes at BYU.
Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong 2/16/2007 Steven Call teaches jazz history at BYU and joins us in discussing the great life and legacy of Louis Armstrong.
Composing with David Sargent 2/2/2007 Faculty composer David Sargent joins Thinking aloud to give a backstage pass on the makings of great music, helping us to understand the many facets, styles, structures, and rationales to his music.
Communitarian Journalism 1/29/2007 Director and producer of a new radio documentary Rodney Wardle joins us with Communications chair Ed Adams to discuss a new style of journalism. Communitarian journalism is now being taught at several universities across the nation, including BYU. The documentary “What’s in a Name? The Story of Communitarian Journalism” airs January 31 at 9pm on Classical 89.
Mr. Dungbeetle: A New Film by Tom Russell at the LDS Film Festival 1/17/2009 Director, writer, and editor Tom Russell and producer Jeff Parkin join Thinking Aloud to talk about their recent movie “Mr. Dungbeetle,” which showed during the LDS film festival.
Ethnomusicology: From Classical Music to World Music 1/10/2007 Throughout history humans have raised musical praises in search ofspirituality, to give thanks for blessings, to hail deities or summondead ancestors, and to accompany important ceremonies. Simpleinstruments fashioned from wood, reeds, bamboo, gourds, animal bone,and other ready-to-hand materials suggest that the need for musicinspires ingenuity and supersedes the desire to boast wealth. Ethnomusicologist Larry V. Shumway reflects on the history and utility of his profession. Jerry Jaccard joins the interview as co-host, bringing to bear his expertise as a folksong researcher.


Magic Flute: Themes of Eternity 12/29/2006 This weekend something historic will happen. It’s never been done before. A high-definition transmission of audio and video live from the Met. We’ve been talking about it for some time here on Classical 89, and many of us in Utah will witness the event in person this Saturday, as “The Magic Flute” is beamed on over. We’re Thinking Aloud with three scholars who can initiate us into the club of the few who really can say with much authority what this strange Mozart opera is really all about. Join Germanist Alan Keele, historian Paul Kerry, and singer-scholar Lawrence Vincent join me for a discussion of “The Magic Flute.”
Concert Preview: The BYU Philharmonic plays Shostakovich and Bruch 11/27/2006 Conductor Kory Katseanes discusses Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, programmed in observance of the 2006 Shostakovich centennary. Jaren Hinckley and Claudine Bigelow then join the discussion to discuss their roles performing in the Max Bruch Concerto for Clarinet and Viola.
Print Ads and Eye-tracking Studies: Where Does Our Gaze Linger? 11/13/2006 Steven Thomsen is director of the Communication Research Center in the College of Fine Arts and Communications at BYU. He investigates the kinds of images or print material that draw us in … whenever we do so much as glance at a page or poster. What kinds of advertisements capture our attention and draw us in? What messages conveyed by these images do we retain? And in particular, what are youth learning from exposure to print ads? One way to find out is to observe the way our eyes respond to the ubiquitous visual stimuli that bombard us daily.
Video Games: Does Anyone Really Know Their Impact? 10/25/2006 Media Arts departments across the country have only recently turned to the study of newer media phenomena such as video games. Our guests Sharon Swenson and Mark Ellsworth are among the few who have made this area a focus of research. What are the issues that concern them? Can anyone say definitively that video games exert more harm than help? (Website reference in the interview: http://www.bomtoons.com)
Revisiting the Era of Broadcast News Giants, with Bob Walz and Dale Cressman 10/20/2006 Our nation has witnessed a fair number of broadcast news giants, from the days of WWII newsreels to last night’s update from Iraq. What was the recipe that produced an Edward R. Murrow or a Walter Cronkite? And is there any lingering public appetite for these kinds of icons or celebrities in the news business? Thinking Aloud’s Wes Sims interviews scholars and broadcasters Robert Walz and Dale Cressman in this retrospective on a (bygone?) era never to be forgotten.
Proponents of New Music: Christian Asplund, Steve Ricks, and Jaren Hinckley 10/16/2006 Our guests in this interview discuss with host Marcus Smith their interest and involvement in a category of musical expression sometimes called a movement, sometimes a style: New Music. As a term, New Music seems to elude definition. Will it ever have a broad audience, or is it intentionally esoteric?
Michael Dudok deWit: Oscar-winning Animator 10/13/2006 Michael Dudok deWit’s Oscar acceptance speech was one of the shortest in history. But we speak with him for a full half-hour on his art, his craft, and his inspiration during his visit to BYU campus. Kelly Loosli also joins us; he teaches courses at BYU  in Traditional Animation, Storyboarding and Visual Development for Film and Video.
Onstage at BYU: the Foreigner by Larry Shue 10/12/2006 Playwright and actor Larry Shue died in a commuter plane crash in 1985–at the peak of his career. His most popular works are titled “The Nerd” and “The Foreigner.” As “The Foreigner” hits the BYU stage this season, we talk with director, Eric Samuelson about a play that has been described as comedy, farce, and a hilarious romp. It also happens to be a very successful piece with the unique distinction of having not only survived but defeated the miserable and caustic reviews upon its premiere.
Sisterz in Zion 9/28/2006 The distance between New York City, or the Bronx and Utah, or better yet, Provo, Utah, on the BYU campuses far more than just geographic. Some might even say it’s cosmic. Perhaps the only way to gauge the human distance, the cultural difference, is by bringing people from both places together. Culture shock. Cultural awareness. Ethnic diversity. Unity in Zion. One heart, one mind. It’s all very noble, but when the rubber hits the road, how smooth is the driving? Today Marcus Smith talks with some creative minds behind a new documentary called “Sisterz in Zion.” It’s the story of a group of teenage girls from the Bronx who fly to Provo to participate in a locally well-known program called Especially for Youth. Our guests are Tom Lefler, from the Department of Theatre and Media Arts; Melissa Puente, a BYU alumna who graduated from the film department; and Kathy Johnson,a junior majoring in humanities and associate producer for the documentary.
Taiwan Film Festival 9/27/2006 In the 1950s and 60s, a lot of Taiwanese film was staple melodrama, teen romance, and of course a solid showing on the part of kung-fu. Today, cinema from Taiwan is world-famous, with subject matter ranging from the real to surreal, with documentary, social commentary, and some plain good storytelling. Today on Thinking Aloud, Marcus Smith talks with Steven Riep, Chinese comparative literature and film professor at BYU. We will also talk with Eric Hyer who teaches political science at BYU. We’ll talk about life in Taiwan today, how that society is changing, and how life is being captured in film. It’s all in advance of the upcoming Taiwan Film Festival at BYU.
New Horizon Orchestra: Learning Music Late in Life 9/1/2006 For many adults, music is something you listen too, not something you make. For others, music is something you’d like to learn how to make, but you’ve just never known how? Or maybe it’s something you did years ago, but have lost the knack for. The New Horizons Orchestra was established precisely for daring, intrepid, or at least willing souls who are sufficiently uninhibited about their level of musical competence to dive in and take the risk. Today we’ll be thinking aloud with Andrew Dabczynski, BYU professor of music and conductor of the New Horizons Orchestra.
Spirituality in Film: The Moving Image 8/31/2006 In September, BYU is offering a free screening of highly recommended films, in a series called Moving Images. The series is a carefully winnowed selection of movies intended to demonstrate something about our spirituality as human beings. We’ll be talking about that spirituality, specifically about its place or presence, at least occasionally (some of us wish it would appear even more than just occasionally!) in the world of film and filmmaking. Guests include Sharon Swenson, Thomas Lefler, and Jeff Parkin, all from the Department of Theater and Media Arts.
Season Preview: Drama at BYU 8/25/2006 “Hamlet,” “Oklahoma!” “The Little Foxes,” and “Twelfth Night” are all part of the new season of dramatic productions at BYU. We’ll preview the coming season and talk about what audiences should expect when they attend this year’s line-up. Guests joining us for this interview are Rodger Sorensen, chair of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, and TMA faculty member Megan Sanborn Jones.
Accents in Acting: You Sound Too American! 8/24/2006 What would “My Fair Lady” be like if Eliza Doolittle lacked an accent? or had a Southern accent? Or if the characters in a production of “Huckleberry Finn” had New York accents? Accents can add life to a performance?but they can also bring a whole lot of trouble. What do you need to know to have a believable Australian accent? Or a French one? Is it possible to learn enough to fool a native? Stephanie Breinholt, a BYU professor and accent coach, discusses the particulars of credible dialect or other forms of exotic speech while Shelly Graham, a Theater and Media Arts professor, outlines the production challenges and benefits of speech training.
Elderly in Cartoons 8/17/2006 Most people don’t analyze much while watching cartoons. After all, “toons” are supposed to entertain, right? All you need a funny situation here and a witty comment there. Tom Robinson sees a lot more when he watches television. He spends hours sizing up media depictions and stereotypes of the elderly. Some are positive depictions, but many are negative. We’ll talk with him about what he has learned through his study of them. Are harmful messages passed along through cartoons? Are young children developing attitudes based on these stereotypes? We’re Thinking Aloud with Tom Robinson.
The Acoustics of Vocal Production 7/26/2006 There is more to singing than meets the eye. When science gets involved, you may have wanted to know even less! Arden Hopkin teaches voice in the BYU School of Music. Together with acoustics graduate student Brian Monson, Hopkin has investigated the “ideal” acoustic of the human voice at least for singers in the operatic style. Find out what role science can play in understanding the human voice, and how science is helping singers sing better!
Milton Glaser 7/21/2006 Milton Glaser, the designer of famous illustrations like the “I Love New York” logo, has long been at the forefront of the field of graphic design and illustration. In conjunction with the recent opening of Milton Glaser’s exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art, Thinking Aloud’s Marcus Smith joins with BYU MOA Director Campbell Gray to talk with Glaser about his conceptual approach to design problems and perhaps answer why his illustrations have endured for the past half-century.
Fit for the Kingdom: Short Profiles of Quiet, Ordinary Latter-day Saints 7/20/2006 Dean Duncan (Department of Theatre and Media Arts) and BYU student Carrie Hakes are two of many collaborators on the new series of short documentaries called “Fit for the Kingdom.” Join us as we discover what inspired this project of mini-documentaries, and what the producers hope to accomplish. We’ll also ask some questions about whether a mini-documentary can really provide an authentic picture of Latter-day Saint experience, or if a rolling camera alters the subject of the documentary. To visit the Fit For the Kingdom Website, go to http://fitforthekingdom.byu.edu
Teaching Children Peace through music 7/10/2006 What does it take to renew a youthful spirit that has been stunted by the devastation and fear of living in a war-torn country? Can music play a role? Liz Shropshire, a BYU Graduate in Music Composition, is the founder of the Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative and the Shropshire Music Foundation. We’ll be talking about the impact her organizations have on the lives of children whose formative years have been horribly disrupted by the violence of war.
Recovering Forgotten Art by Women Artists 7/3/2006 Guests Ruth Christensen (BYU School of Music Faculty), Rob McFarland (Humanities), and BYU graduate Sarah Reed have all participated, with numerous of other BYU faculty and student scholars, in an audacious mission of recovery. How do you find, collect, and preserve forgotten art? The Sophie Project entails the preservation of both the written word and musical composition. The focus of this discussion is on women musicians and various artifacts uncovered or rediscovered through this project. The project aims to amass a vast digital library for future research and enjoyment.
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