Pipedreams, American Public Media’s
Weekly Exploration of the Power and Wonder of the "King of Instruments," Celebrates 25 Years on the Air
(St. Paul, Minn.) January 30, 2007—Pipedreams,® the only nationally distributed radio program that explores the full range of the pipe organ’s art and potential, will celebrate 25 years on the air in 2007.
Produced and distributed by American Public Media,™ the nation’s leading producer and broadcaster of classical music programming, Pipedreams features brand new instruments in churches and concert halls, plus historic pipe organs recorded in locations around the world. Listeners experience everything from ancient instruments in vast cathedrals to the "Mighty Wurlitzers" of movie house fame. Unlike former nationally distributed radio programs of organ music, Pipedreams draws upon a wide range of unique concert recordings and an international array of commercially produced discs.
Pipedreams creator and host Michael Barone is celebrated nationally for his outstanding contributions to the world of organ music. He began playing the organ when he was 14 years old and has devoted more than four decades of his life to studying this remarkable instrument.
"The sound of wind through pipes…essential to the age-old organ tradition…remains a potentially beguiling, stimulating, thrilling and soul-penetrating energy," says Barone.
Barone’s talent and commitment have been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Guild of Organists President’s Award in 1996; the Distinguished Service Award of the Organ Historical Society in 1997; and the 2001 Deems Taylor Award for Broadcasting from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). In 2002, Barone was selected for induction to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
Each week on Pipedreams, through carefully selected organ repertoire and performances, Barone encourages his audience to engage both their ears and imaginations. He challenges listeners to go beyond preconceptions and stereotypes to achieve a greater appreciation of this multifaceted instrument. He occasionally talks with composers, organists, organ builders and restorers, but most often he muses about the delights of the unique and varied voices of which a pipe organ is comprised.
When asked, why the organ? "Because it can please and persuade in so many ways," replies Barone. "You will never in your life experience its every nuance. Yet, to enjoy the organ and its music is to embrace the fullness of life."
The initial Pipedreams programs, the first of which aired on Minnesota Public Radio® on January 3, 1982, were distributed nationally to 64 public radio stations. Previously, Barone had been host and producer for The Organ Program, which aired regionally on Minnesota Public Radio. Pipedreams replaced The Organ Program for 14 weeks from January through April 1982, but The Organ Program resumed during the remainder of that year and continued into 1983.
Meanwhile, the notion of Pipedreams as an ongoing national offering was encouraged. Pipedreams was revived for national distribution in October 1983 and has "struck a chord" ever since then. As a consistent 90-minute weekly presence, Pipedreams offers more nationally syndicated hours of organ music to the public than any other syndicated radio program in the United States.
Pipedreams currently is carried by more than 170 public radio stations, on XM Satellite Radio and on Radio-Television Hong Kong 4, and is available globally 24/7 via the Internet at www.pipedreams.org.
The Pipedreams Web site also allows visitors to hear current programs and more than 200 archived shows online. The site also includes a "mailbag" for listener questions about pipe organs and performers, a huge photo gallery, plus links to many pipe organ resources.
Pipedreams distributes a weekly online newsletter, "Organ Notes from Pipedreams," with information about the current week’s program, featured organs, listings of future programming and a bonus 30 minutes of extra musical selections.
National broadcasts of Pipedreams are made possible with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley C. Dudley, the MAHADH Fund of the HRK Foundation, by the contributions of listeners to American Public Media stations, and by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America.