James Reel

Thursday, February 21, 3:30-4:30 p.m., The Arizona Senior Academy Building 

Unlike most of the remaining classical music stations across the country, which purchase packages of preselected music and commentary from American Public Radio’s Classical 24 for their daily fare, Tucson has its own local host and music library.  James Reel, Classical Music Director of Arizona Public Media and the weekday morning announcer for KUAT-FM, returns to Academy Village to take us into the studio where he selects from AZPM’s compendious library of music CDs the music we hear during the day. In his talk, he writes, “I anticipate outlining my work day, explaining how I assemble the playlist, talking about why classical radio stations play what they do when they do, and sharing some radio horror stories.

Reel has appeared on multiple occasions at the Arizona Senior Academy, most recently in May, 2017, when he gave a series of four lectures called “Landscape and the Romantic Imagination,” in which he followed the development of concepts and representation of Nature in European and American arts and culture from 1820 1860. In 2013 he presented a four-part series on later authors’ and artists’ borrowings from Shakespeare’s plots and characters.

Reel is the author of The Timid Soul’s Guide to Classical Music (1992, now available on Kindle) and a guidebook, City Smart: Tucson (1998). He is the currently Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and serves on the board of the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Reel has been a contributing editor to Strings magazine and a regular contributor to Fanfare and the online All Classical Guide, as well as general editor of Tucson Weekly. He has also done Borderlands reporting for Salon.com, the National Catholic Reporter, and Sojourners.  He gives pre-performance talks for Arizona Opera and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. He is also a program annotator and writes liner notes for recordings.

Written by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer


Feb. 21: “In the Booth with Your Classical Music Host”