Kristine Allen

Program Director

Kristine Allen is Program Director of WPSU-FM.  She also files feature stories for WPSU on the arts, culture, science, and more. When she's not at WPSU, Kris enjoys playing folk fiddle, acting, singing and portrait-sketching.  She is also a self-confessed "science geek."  Kris started working in public radio in college, at age 17, and says she "just couldn't stop."

Ways to Connect

Glenn Davis (courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre) / 7th Ave Photo, Altoona

For the first time ever, Altoona Community Theatre is presenting a Shakespeare play.  AS WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports this weekend's production of "Romeo and Juliet," which opens Thursday, will focus on  keeping the performance real and relevant, with modern costumes and music by the Talking Heads. 

photo: NPR

NPR has a brand new weekly, hour-long show called “Hidden Brain."  The program explores the unconscious patterns behind human behavior. It incorporates NPR's signature storytelling style, and the latest scientific research about why we humans do what we do.  The idea started as a series of reports on Morning Edition, then became a podcast, and is now a weekly program.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with NPR's social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam. He's the host of the new show, heard Sunday afternoons at 1:00 on WPSU-FM.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear cellist Kim Cook play music by Sergei Rachmaninoff from a concert in the Music Penn’s Woods Festival; an instrumental arrangement of “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” by Jerry Bock, from that same Penns Woods concert, played by clarinetist Anthony Costa, oboist Timothy Hurtz, and pianist Ann Deighton; and  the Penn State Philharmonic, led by Gerardo Edelstien in Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.

original photo: Paul M. Howey

B.J. Leiderman wrote the theme music for many public radio shows, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Marketplace and Science Friday. After decades in the music business, as a composer and performer, Leiderman has finally released his very first album of songs.  On Take Note, BJ Leiderman talks with WPSU’s Kristine Allen about his album, his obsession with the Beatles, and how to write catchy theme music. We also hear a bit of music from the album.

photo: courtesy of Scott Sackett & Paul Lamont

On Thursday, January 4 at 8:00pm, WPSU-TV will broadcast the PBS documentary, “Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam” about the history of the Kinzua Dam in Warren County, Pennsylvania. 

image: AP

Join us for these seasonal specials on WPSU-FM!

FRIDAY NIGHT:

Jazz Piano Christmas - Friday, December 22, 10:00pm

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special Mardi Gras themed holiday concert hosted by Felix Contreras, highlighting the favorite seasonal music by acclaimed jazz artists.

Christmas on “Jazz Happening Now” -Friday, December 22, 11:00pm

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the Overture to “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdink, performed by Penn State’s Clarinet Choir; PSU faculty flutist Naomi Seidman, harpist Anne Sullivan and cellist Jonathan Dexter playing a trio by contemporary Pennsylvania-based composer Joseph Hallman; and a performance of the Bach Magnificat from a Music at Penn’s Woods concert conducted by Christopher Kiver, director of choral activities at Penn State.

photo courtesy of Tony Lentz

Retired Penn State professor Tony Lentz is well known in the State College area for his annual one-man performances of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. But after 40 years of performances, he’s finally calling it quits. As WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports, he’s finally ‘giving up the ghosts.’

(Listen to the story below.)

Lentz's final performances in State College are:

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the “Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano” by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

The Centre County Democrats held a get-out-the-vote rally Saturday at their headquarters in downtown State College.  And they brought out some star power.

Three Democratic judicial candidates spoke at the rally, including Judge Dwayne Woodruff, a former Pittsburgh Steeler, who is running for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

image: courtesy of the Altoona Symphony

As Halloween approaches, there is no shortage of thrills and chills to enjoy around Central Pennsylvania. Here are a few highlights from WPSU’s Community Calendar:

The Altoona Symphony takes on a vampire’s soundtrack in "Nosferatu: a Symphony of Horror." 

You can see classic 1920’s vampire film, “Nosferatu,” in all its gory glory, Saturday evening at the historic Mishler Theatre in Altoona. 

Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

NASA’s Swift satellite, controlled by scientists at Penn State, took part in a groundbreaking scientific discovery announced Monday: the first observation of two colliding neutron stars.

First, some background.

Last year, scientists at LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) first detected gravitational waves, or ripples in the fabric of space-time. Gravitational waves are caused by high-energy events in the cosmos, and fan out in all directions like a stone thrown into a pond.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Penn State Faculty pianist Jose Ramon Mendez play two of the Four Impromptus, D. 935: No. 2 in A-flat and No.3 in B-flat; The Penn State Philharmonic playing The Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, with guest conductor Theresa Cheung; and PSU faculty saxophonist David Stambler, with pianist Kathy Gattuso-Cinatl, in Moment Musicaux by contemporary American composer Mark Lanz Weiser.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the "Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano" by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

images: courtesy of John Pielmeier

Actor, Broadway playwright, movie scriptwriter and now novelist John Pielmeier grew up in Altoona and got his MFA at Penn State.  He has recently published his debut novel, titled “Hook’s Tale.” The book is a fresh take on the familiar pirate, Captain Hook, and other characters created by J.M. Barrie.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Autumn Song by Felix Mendelssohn, sung by Discantus, a chamber choir from the Oriana Singers with Jane Glocke conducting and Svetlana Rodionova at the piano; then The Planets by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

photo: WPSU

On September 14th, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, WPSU-TV will broadcast A TIME TO HEAL, a documentary which explores the Vietnam War from a Pennsylvania perspective. On this edition of Take Note, WPSU's Kristine Allen speaks with WPSU’s Lindsey Whissel Fenton, co-producer, writer and director of the documentary.  Whissel Fenton shares her experiences producing the show, in which she also appears, talking with Pennsylvanians affected by the Vietnam War.

photo: courtesy of NASA & Zena Cardman

In the spring of 2017, Zena Cardman was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Penn State, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology and a Masters Degree in marine sciences.  Then  she was one of 12 Astronaut Candidates selected by NASA out of more than 18,000 applicants. She is now training to become an astronaut.

Cardman talks about her interest in creative writing, studying microbes, working in the Antarctic (where she played in a band), sailing on a tall ship, how she feels about going to Mars, and what the chance to fly in space means to her.

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

The Great American Eclipse is almost here.  On Monday, a ribbon of land about 70 miles wide, from the West coast of Oregon to the East Coast of South Carolina, will see a total eclipse of the sun. It will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental US since 1979.  We asked two astronomers about their plans, and what’s in store.  One will travel to the path of totality to see the total eclipse, and one will stay in Pennsylvania to watch the partial eclipse.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we hear Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, from the 2015 Music at Penn's Woods Festival Orchestra; music from a John Williams film score played by the Penn State Trombone Choir, and Panamanian Dances by William Grant Still from a Music at Penn's Woods chamber music concert.

photo: Min Xian

Health care and climate change were hot topics last night at a town hall with Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson, of Pennsylvania’s 5th district.  The forum was hosted by WPSU, and broadcast live on WPSU TV & FM.

Questions were submitted by the public in advance and also came from members of the audience, who identified themselves by first name only, like Max from State College.

“Your vote for the Republican healthcare bill, regardless of how many people are uninsured now, was a vote to throw 20 million people off of health insurance,” Max said.

photo: Amy Grantham

Rock icon Graham Nash, formerly of The Hollies, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, will play a concert on Friday, August 4 at The State Theatre in State College. He spoke with WPSU's Kristine Allen about recent upheavals in his life, his outlook on the future and his recent solo album, titled "This Path Tonight." 

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we hear music by Bach and Geminiani, played by the duo Dipaison in the Music at Penns Woods Series; “Ave, Regina caelorum” in a setting by Philip Stopford, a composer born in 1977, as performed by the Penn State Concert Choir in April 2015; a Bach Fantasy transcribed for winds, played by the Penn State Symphonic Band; and the Haydn Variations, by Johannes Brahms, played by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstien.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month’s show includes a Trio Sonata by early 18th century composer Giovanni Benedetto Platti from a Penn State School of Music Spotlight concert; The Oriana Singers, directed by Jane Glocke, performing music from a Bach Cantata; the Opening Movement of the Piano Concerto No.

photo: NASA

NASA recently selected 12 new astronaut candidates from among more than 18,000 applicants. WPSU’s Kristine Allen speaks with one of those talented twelve: Zena Cardman, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Penn State. She will begin her astronaut training in August.

photo: courtesy of B.J. Leidermann

You’ve heard the name B.J.Leiderman many times during the credits at the end of public radio shows. . And if you’re a devoted WPSU listener, you probably hear his music every day.  After a decades-long career as a composer and performer, Leiderman has finally released his first album, titled "BJ." WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with him from his home in Asheville, North Carolina.

This month’s show includes two performances form Music at Penns Woods 2016.  The Penns Woods Festival Orchestra plays “La Flute de Pan” by Jules Mouquet, with Naomi Seidman as soloist; and the Symphony No. 4 by Franz Schubert.  Guest conductor for both performances is Eitan Globerson.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Opera legend Marilyn Horne returned to her hometown of Bradford on Saturday, May 6 for the dedication of the Marilyn Horne Museum at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with Horne and toured the museum.

(photo: NASA.gov)

In the last 15 years, thousands of planets have been discovered, outside of our own solar system.  They’re known as exoplanets. The pace of exoplanet discoveries has increased dramatically in recent years, and there have been some very exciting discoveries in the past few months.

WPSU's Kristine Allen speaks with Angie Wolfgang, a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State University. Dr. Wolfgang studies a special class of exoplanets called “super-Earths.” 

Quinn Lease

A line of powerful  storms hit Pennsylvania Monday afternoon and evening, prompting many severe thunderstorm warnings and a few tornado warnings across the state.

There were reports of numerous trees down, including one across Atherton Street in State College.  Snapped power lines closed a portion of Boal Avenue in Boalsburg, where crews worked late into the night.  Street flooding was reported in Altoona. Quarter-size hail was spotted in Kane. 

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