Made in Davidson, heard round the world? Davidson-based classical public radio station WDAV-FM said Monday it is beginning trials of its weekly Spanish-language classical music program “Concierto” in key markets with large Hispanic populations in a trial that eventually could lead to syndication at stations around the country.
WDAV says the 2-hour program, which already is airing Saturday nights at 10 pm on 89.9 FM, is the first nationally distributed Spanish-English classical music service. Hosted by WDAV program director Frank Dominguez of Charlotte, who has a Cuban family background, “Concierto” also is airing on KPBS in San Diego. And NPRMusic.org has agreed to promote the show and will add “Concierto” to its The Mix stream, WDAV said.
Besides airing on WDAV’s main FM channel once a week, “Concierto” also is available in a continuous stream on WDAV’s digital HD-2 channel as well as online at concierto.org.
Why a classical program in Spanish?
Citing Census figures, WDAV General Manager Benjamin K. Roe notes that the U.S. Latino population is now about 46.9 million, or 15 percent of the total population. “Among this group, the appetite for classical music is significant: a 2008 NEA survey shows that 7.6 percent of U.S. Hispanics identify classical as their favorite form of music, and they are increasing their participation in the arts,” he said in a press release.
Despite the potential audience for classical, Mr. Roe said that of the nation’s 838 Spanish-language radio stations, none offers classical music programming in Spanish. “We want to do something about that,” he said.
“Concierto” offers both standard classical music with Mr. Dominguez’s Spanish-language commentary as well as a focus on Latin-American and Spanish composers and performers.
Said Mr. Dominguez: “With Concierto, we are creating a perfect entryway to classical music for Latinos in America. Whether they are ‘Spanish-dominant’ or proudly bilingual, listeners tell me they are pleasantly surprised to hear me speak in their native language. Plus, Hispanic culture is more diverse than meringue and mariachi! Classical music has strong, deep roots in all the Americas, and Concierto’s programming reflects that diversity. This is truly international music.”
WDAV said the pilot of “Concierto” is funded in part by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The station plans to test the concept in a handful of markets with large Spanish-speaking populations. In late 2011, WDAV hopes to launch a nationally syndicated round-the-clock Spanish-language classical music service.
RELATED LINKS & COVERAGE
Concierto.org website – find out more and listen to samples of the program in the player.
See all DavidsonNews.net’s coverage of WDAV under the WDAV tag.
Nov. 27, 2009, “4-min. interview: WDAV’s Benjamin Roe.” An audio interview with the station’s general manager, in which he discusses the station’s shift toward more locally produced programming, the growing importance of the Web, and about “Concierto.”