Rachel Katz

WWFM Production Manager and Host of A Tempo

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.

From an early age, Rachel Katz earned a reputation in her family for both sharing stories (a “town-crier” of sorts) and also sitting back while older family members shared theirs, taking it all in as a quiet observer.  Rachel pursued degrees in history at The University of Connecticut and Russian/Soviet studies and journalism at the University of Michigan, which soon set her on the path as a foreign correspondent in the early and mid-1990s. She worked in St. Petersburg, Russia, for three years, writing for UPI, The St. Petersburg Press, AP and The Moscow Times, as well as a variety of other  US national and regional publications. Back in the US, she worked at The Connecticut Post and as business editor of The (Norwalk) Hour before moving to Bloomberg News, where she covered retail and other business news.

Interested in exploring radio, she took broadcast classes and landed a job at The Classical Network as a production assistant and the opportunity to produce her own public affairs program, Views and Voices. As host and producer now of A Tempo, she brings her storytelling and reporter experience – and her love of music - to the world of arts and culture, exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the music world today.

In addition to playing violin with the Westminster Community Orchestra, Rachel enjoys fencing, birdwatching and salsa/swing/ballroom dancing.

Ways to Connect

Vee Popat

Performers from 15 US high school jazz ensembles, and one from Cuba, came together last weekend to share performances and learn from mentors during Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition and Festival. Among those bands coming out at the top was Newark Academy's (Livingston, NJ) Chameleon big band, which received honorable mention. The band was also honored for Outstanding Rhythm Section and Outstanding Reed Section, and several of its musicians received individual recognition.

Music schools and conservatories face constant challenges, from attracting students and offering relevant curricula to seeking out funding to support their endeavors. This week on A Tempo (5/13), host Rachel Katz takes a look at an upcoming leadership conference sponsored by the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, featuring a roundtable with some of the conference participants: Jamal J.

This week on A Tempo, host Rachel Katz interviews Theodore Ziolkowski, Princeton Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature, about his new book, "Music into Fiction" (Boydell and Brewer). The book explores the relationship between the musical and literary arts as displayed by figures such as Robert Schumann, ETA Hoffman and Anthony Burgess, and also examines literary works whose structures were based on musical forms, or featured a musical work as its main theme.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Amy Beach was the first woman composer to have a piece performed by a major symphony orchestra. As organizations celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth this year, A Tempo explores her career and her impact on American music. Host Rachel Katz speaks with Liane Curtis, president and founder of Women's Philharmonic Advocacy.

Carlin Ma

Music schools and conservatories are constantly facing new challenges in ensuring their students are prepared to create successful careers in the ever-changing world of music. A Tempo host Rachel Katz checks in with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, whose recent additions and innovations include a Roots, Jazz and American Music program. Rachel will interview SFCM President David Stull and Simon Rowe, executive director of the Roots, Jazz and American Music program.

Anne Sears

As students at Westminster Choir College rehearse Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize Winning oratorio Anthracite Fields, A Tempo recently looked at how the performance at the Roebling Wireworks brings together the work's exploration of life in Pennsylvania coal mining communities and the industrial history of cities like Trenton.

A Tempo (April 8) explores the creation of the American Repertory Ballet's Pride and Prejudice by Artistic Director Douglas Martin. The work will be performed later this month at McCarter Theatre, with the score performed by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Host Rachel Katz speaks with Martin about how he chose the music and approached the libretto and choreography to bring Jane Austen's story to the ballet stage.

Rider University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to find a buyer for Westminster Choir College that will enable the college to continue its musical and educational legacy, a decision that was music to the ears of students and alumni who feared that the college’s programs might be merged onto the main Rider campus or closed down completely.

(Update: Corrects name of director of choral activities)

Students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered on the campus of Rider University Tuesday morning to rally in support of  Westminster Choir College as Rider’s Board of Trustees met to vote on the future of the institution’s.

“I just learned, grew and thrived at this place, and to see this situation even being considered just breaks my heart,” said junior Jade Blocker, who stood with a sign that read “Hear Our Voices!  Keep Westminster in Princeton!”

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