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

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

The Winner of WPSU's Annual Art for the Airwaves contest hails from the rolling hills, woods and farmland of Centre Hall. 

"I grew up on a dairy farm just about five miles from here," he says. "I have a financial planning practice that I've been doing for 24 years."

In Whiteman's house, you'll find his photographs on almost every wall and table.  And they make it clear he loves nature and wildlife.

image: AP

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration told Pennsylvania’s counties Thursday that he wants them to replace their electronic voting systems with machines that leave a verifiable paper trail by the end of 2019, although counties warned that the price tag is a major problem.

Counties estimate the cost will be $125 million and said the greatest single impediment to buying new voting machines is the lack of a funding source.

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis 50 years ago.   WPSU’s Kristine Allen brings us memories of that day from residents of Central and Northern Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Kimberly Weinberg of The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, WPSU's Cheraine Stanford, and the listeners of WPSU for help with this story. 

Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports there are a couple of commemorations today in Central Pennsylvania.

MLK Plaza in downtown State College will host a public remembrance of Dr. King, starting this evening at 5:30. Penn State theatre professor emeritus, Charles Dumas will give a dramatic reading of King’s final speech; and some of King’s favorite music will be played by local artists.

(Photo: AP File Photo)

On April 4, 1968, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. shocked the country. Where you alive then? If so, were you on that that day?  How did you hear the news? Whether you were around then or not: what has MLK and his message meant to you, personally? WPSU wants your thoughts, recorded in your own voice.

Photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

Pennsylvanians love their beer. The Brewers Association says that in 2017 more barrels of craft beer were brewed in Pennsylvania than in any other state in the U.S. California came in second.

But it’s not just businesses that are turning-out tasty microbrews.   Local home-brewers in Central Pennsylvania are getting into the act, too.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, flutist Naomi Seidman and pianist Christopher Guzman will play a Sonata for Flute & Piano composed in 1927 by Erwin Shulhoff; the Penn State Glee Club, directed by Christopher Kiver, sings “Draw on Sweet Night” by contemporary composer Casey Rule;  and we’ll hear the Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra, led by Gerardo Edelstein, in the Symphony No. 3 in C by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.

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. 

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we’ll hear choral music in the African American tradition from Essence of Joy (“Striving after God” by Undine Smith Moore and “This is the Day” by Joe Pace); The Penn State Symphonic Wind Ensemble in a suite from the opera, “Mlada” by Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov (arranged by Dennis Glocke); And a Mozart concerto for two pianos from the Music at Penn’s Woods Festival, featuring pianists Christopher Guzman and Cecilia Dunoyer with conductor Gerardo Edelstein.

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." 

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