‘Highway 89’ brings live feel to local radio

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Just as driving down I-15 reveals Utah’s many various scenes and landscapes, listening to BYU’s new radio program offers a chance to expose Utah residents to many different musical vistas.

“Highway 89” is a new BYU Broadcasting radio program that calls itself “Utah’s most scenic musical byway.” The program features a variety of classical music such as chamber, solo instrumentalists and singers as well as musicians of many other genres such as jazz, Broadway, folk, Celtic and a capella. “Highway 89” will be broadcast locally in Utah on Classical 89 (KBYU-FM) as well as nationally on BYU Radio’s SiriusXM satellite radio station.

The series showcases renowned artists, with a lineup including professionals and amateurs.  “Highway 89” also brings in participants from Utah’s various universities, in a mix of faculty and highly recommended student performers. According to Jackie Tateishi, the producer of the program, “Highway 89” hopes to be the go-to for people who want to listen to many different genres of high quality local music.

“We only feature performers of the highest caliber,” Tateishi said. “We’ve had top-notch arts and music establishments, faculty from universities all over Utah and even graduate students recommended by their professors.”

Each program is either live or designed to sound live, with casual interviews between the host and the performers breaking up the musical numbers. “Highway 89″ is recorded in BYU Broadcasting’s new state-of-the-art performance studios, Studio 6 and Studio 6B.  Larger groups are occasionally recorded in Studio C. Each show is about an hour long.

” ‘Highway 89’ is a great outlet for faculty and some students to not only perform locally, but to a national audience as well,” Tateishi said. “It’s also a great chance to learn more about the musician’s personal life in a more relaxed setting. It’s a really amiable, friendly, casual show. The musicians have more power to show their creativity and play their own arrangements.”

The first live show will air Thursday at 8 p.m. The Utah Premiere Brass will perform to a live audience of 225 people in Studio C. The show currently has 30 prerecorded performances.

Tateishi chose the Utah Premiere Brass as the concert to launch the program due to its fan base in the community as well as its large ensemble that can fill the whole studio with celebratory sound.

Kirt Saville, BYU professor and conductor for the Utah Premiere Brass, said he is excited to perform live for “Highway 89.”

“The studio is acoustically fitted for TV, so everyone will get to hear every good thing we do as well as every mistake,” Saville said. “It makes for a quality music experience.”

The British-based brass ensemble will play a variety of music at the show, with pieces ranging from an arrangement of “Abide With Me Tis Eventide” to “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera.”

“It’s a very mixed repertoire; we’ll be playing some very traditional pieces as well as some more modern ones,” Saville said. “It will be both loud and exciting as well as soft and beautiful. We hope to elicit a wide range of emotional response.”

“Highway 89” will air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 5 p.m. MST on Classical 89.1 and 89.5 FM as well as every weeknight at 8 p.m. MST on Sirius XM 143 BYU Radio.

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