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Shades of Classics History

I have always had a deep passion for music, but never a fitting way to share it with others.  That all changed early in the year 2000 when a chance visit to CKUW resulted in my signing up for some radio workshops, with no real intentions in mind.  I was surprised a short time later when I received a phone call letting me know that the workshps were coming up, and was I still interested in attending.  So after discussing it with my wife, I completed the workshops, more out of curiosity than anything else.

During the workshops I heard that CKUW currently had a classical show, so I inquired as to the possibility of sitting in with the host.  I was delighted to join Alex Wilson on his program 'Off the Beaten Track' for a couple of weeks, just to see what a radio program was all about.  I was even afforded the opportunity to play music of my choice, and to speak on air.  Alex subsequently asked me to fill in for him one week, and after the enjoyment of doing that, I decided to apply for my very own program.

Not really expecting anything to happen for a long time, I soon thereafter received a call from then Program Director Steve Bates asking if I was interested in doing a show on either Thursday morning, or Sunday morning.  Needless to say I jumped at this opportunity to host my own program!  But now I had to think of a name for my program, and do some planning.  The name Shades of Classics was soon decided upon, since my proposal was to air not only classical music, but new age music as well.  This seemed fitting since listeners would be hearing classical and various 'shades' of classical music during my two hours on Sunday morning.  So Shades of Classics was born on Sunday, May 7, 2000 at six in the morning, to the strains of Richard Strauss' Sunrise from Also Sprach Zarathustra.  This music was the program theme for almost a year, before I decided to change it to something more personal for me, In Paradisum by soprano Sarah Brightman.  The foundation of the program was built on what I call 'heartfelt' music, and Sarah Brightman, Secret Garden, David Lanz and Steve Bell were the cornerstones.

After entertaining listeners at this early time slot for two years, I was then able to move to a later time Sunday morning, thanks to then Program Director Art Ladd's efforts.  On June 9, 2002 Shades of Classics began broadcasting in its current time slot from 8 until 10 on Sunday morning.

In May of 2005, when Shades of Classics was approaching its fifth anniversary, I decided that I wanted to change my program theme to something more home-grown, something Canadian.  So I decided to contact Canadian composer Michael Conway Baker, whose music I have admired for many years, with the idea of a new show theme.  I was delighted when Michael offered to produce the show's current program theme, drawn from the 'Buttons' movement of his amazing score Cinderella: Frozen in Time.

During all these years I have finally been able to share with you, the listener, my passion for what I call heartfelt music - music that reaches out and touches your heart and soul.  I have introduced you to many wonderful artists that you might not have otherwise ever had the opportunity to hear.  And I have provided a forum for local artists to promote their music and activities.  For me personally it has been a real pleasure and privilege to be afforded the means to do all this by CKUW.  My thanks to all the wonderful staff and volunteers at this great community station, but especially to Rob, Art, Steve and Robin.


SHADES OF CLASSICS TIMELINE:

  • May 7, 2000 - Shades of Classics broadcasts over the airwaves of Winnipeg from CKUW for the first time between 6:00 and 8:00 AM.  The opening theme is the Sunrise from Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.
  • January 7, 2001 - The opening theme for Shades of Classics becomes In Paradisum by soprano Sarah Brightman.
  • February 11, 2001 - Shades of Classics airs its first FunDrive show.
  • March 11, 2001 - Shades of Classics awards posters which were autographed by soprano Sarah Brightman after her La Luna show in Winnipeg to two lucky listeners who entered the poster contest.
  • April 15, 2001 - Shades of Classics airs its first artist interview, a stimulating and informative chat with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's Principal Oboe, Douglas Bairstow.  The interview was recorded at the Centennial Concert Hall and subsequently aired.
  • July 8, 2001 - Shades of Classics conducts its first live in-studio artist interview, an interesting conversation with Joe Fingerote, a host and producer at CBC Radio Two.
  • June 2, 2002 - Shades of Classics broadcasts for the last time in the Sunday morning 6:00 until 8:00 time slot.
  • June 9, 2002 - Shades of Classics broadcasts for the first time in the Sunday morning 8:00 until 10:00 time slot.
  • May 8, 2005 - Shades of Classics fifth anniversary celebration, and the unveiling of the current opening theme, Buttons, produced by Canadian composer Michael Conway Baker from his wonderful score Cinderella: Frozen in Time.  The remarkable violinist Oleg Pokhanovski performs live on the show, playing music by Ernest Bloch.
  • February 12, 2006 - Classical guitarist Ian Hodges performs live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show, playing music by Hector Villa-Lobos.
  • May 14, 2006 - The amazing young fiddler Sierra Noble performs live on Shades of Classics, playing three fiddle tunes.
  • May 21, 2006 - Soprano Julie Biggs performs live on Shades of Classics, singing two songs.
  • June 11, 2006 - Shades of Classics conducts its first live via telephone artist interview as new age musician and composer Kevin Osborn (KevOz) speaks to Shades of Classics listeners from his home in Chicago.
  • December 17, 2006 - The talented heartfelt new age pianist David Lanz speaks to Shades of Classics listeners live via telephone from his home in Washington State.
  • February 11, 2007 - Five members of Camerata Nova, as well as soprano Julie Biggs, perform live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show.
  • May 3, 2007 - Shades of Classics is awarded the "People’s Choice" Favourite Music Show, and host John Iverson the "People’s Choice" Favourite Host at the first annual CKUW volunteer awards.
  • May 6, 2007 - Shades of Classics celebrates seven years on the air, and five years in the 8:00 to 10:00 AM time slot.
  • February 10, 2008 - Classical guitarist Devon Rempel, as well as the duo of pianist Jana Ting and singer Aiza Luna perform live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show.  The show is broadcast live from Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall in the University of Winnipeg.
  • May 10, 2008 - Shades of Classics is awarded the "People’s Choice" Favourite Music Show for the second consecutive year at the annual CKUW volunteer awards.
  • September 28, 2008 - Classical guitarist Skender Sefa performs live on the show, playing music by Francisco Tarrega.
  • February 8, 2009 - Violinist John Racaru, classical guitarist Rodrigo Munoz, fiddler/guitarist/singer Sierra Noble, and soprano Julie Biggs perform live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show.  Sierra Noble's performance is subsequently chosen by CKUW listeners as the "2009 People's Choice Favourite Special Performance"!
  • March 8, 2009 - The amazing Canadian singer, musician and songwriter Loreena McKennitt is interviewed for the third time, but for the first time live in-studio!
  • December 6, 2009 - Shades of Classics reaches a milestone as its 500th show is celebrated!
  • February 7, 2010 - Violinist John Racaru and pianist Beryl Bartel, as well as harpist Lisa Marie Tucker perform live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show.  The show is broadcast live from Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall in the University of Winnipeg.
  • March 28, 2010 - Shades of Classics reaches another milestone as John celebrates his 500th edition of the show, which includes a live via telephone interview with the preeminent Canadian composer Michael Conway Baker!
  • May 2, 2010 - Shades of Classics premieres the first symphony of Canadian composer Bruce Mitchell, with a recorded introduction by the composer himself!
  • May 9, 2010 - Shades of Classics celebrates its tenth anniversary on CKUW!
  • June 19, 2011 - Classical guitarist Kurt Tittlemier performs live on the show, playing music by Regondi and Albeniz.
  • November 6, 2011 - Singer, musician and songwriter Steve Bell co-hosts the show during "Pass the Mic" week on CKUW.
  • February 12, 2012 - Soprano Julie Biggs performs live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show, accompanied by Kim Truscott on keyboards.
  • May 5, 2012 - Shades of Classics host John Iverson is awarded the "People’s Choice" Favourite Host at the annual CKUW volunteer awards.
  • May 13, 2012 - Flutist Haley Rempel and classical guitarist Ian Hodges perform live on Shades of Classics 12th Anniversary show.  Shades of Classics also hosts an open house at CKUW during this special program.
  • February 9, 2014 - Classical guitarist Skender Sefa performs live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show, playing works by Rabinovitch, Piazzolla, Albeniz and Dyens.
  • February 8, 2015 - Violinist John Racaru performs live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show, playing two of his own original compositions.
  • May 10, 2015 - Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz and classical guitarist Kurt Tittlemier perform live on Shades of Classics 15th Anniversary show.  Shades of Classics also hosts an open house at CKUW during this special program.
  • February 12, 2017 - Flutist Haley Marie performs live on Shades of Classics FunDrive show, playing works by Hoffmeister, Vituzzi, Piazzolla, Berbiguer and CPE Bach.
  • February 11, 2018 - Shades of Classics FunDrive Show exceeds its goal and raises $1200 for CKUW during our annual funding drive!  This total is an all-time high for Shades of Classics!
  • May 6, 2018 - Violinist John Racaru and accordion player Wayne Lipischak perform live on Shades of Classics 18th Anniversary Show, playing works by Bach and Sarasate.

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