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

Stephanie Swindle / Penn State School of Music

The Penn's Woods Music Festival is a decades-long tradition: a professional festival held each year in June on Penn State’s University Park Campus. Like so many events, it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. And it couldn’t be held in June this year, either, due to pandemic restrictions.  But at the end of June, hope was suddenly on the horizon.

“We had been looking at all the restrictions starting to lift,” said Russell Bloom, assistant director of Penn State’s School of Music. 

Bloom said Penn State’s School of Music put all kinds of options on the table.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a sonata in B-flat by Johann David Heinichen and the Piano Trio No. 2 in C by Johannes Brahms, both from the 2018 Penns Woods Music Festival; and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Sens, played by the Penn State Philharmonic, Gerardo Edelstein, conducting, with Alma Bulibekova, a winner of Penn State’s concerto competition.


 

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’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble in the Hungarian Fantasy by Franz Doppler, with flute soloist Maria Fernanda Guglielmina; the Dante Sonata by Franz Liszt, played by PSU pianist Timothy Schafer; and the Overture, Scherzo and Finale by Robert Schuman, performed by the Penns Woods Music Festival Orchestra led by Gerardo Edelstein.

Joshua Yospyn

Dr. Michael E. Mann is distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. He is recognized around the world as a leading expert on climate change. His latest book is “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet,” published by Hachette. WPSU’s Kristine Allen talked with Michael Mann about tactics used by climate change deniers, what needs to be done about the climate crisis, and why he's optimistic about tackling climate change.

 

 

Holly Foy / Acoustic Brew

 (UPDATE: The Acoustic Brew concert mentioned in this story, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, has been cancelled due to weather.)

As the pandemic begins to recede, cultural organizations are navigating ever-changing guidelines for performers and audiences. We spoke with three arts organizations who’ve taken different approaches as they strive to get back to normal.

Mason Strouse is a board member and director of communications at Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre, called “CAST” for short.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear two piano pieces, “January” and “Feburary” from “Das Jahr” by Fanny Mendelssohn; a suite called “Rustiques” by Joseph Canteloube for oboe, clarinet & piano; and Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 in C Minor played by the Penns Woods Music Festival Orchestra led by Gerardo Edelstein.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear excerpts from the Orchestral Suite in B Minor by Bach, played by Sheila Hornberger, transverse flute with the Penn State Baroque ensemble directed by James Lyon; “Variations for Harp on a theme in ancient style” by Carlos Salzedo, played by Anne Sullivan in a Penns Woods Music Festival concert; and the Penn State Philharmonic, with guest conductor Teresa Cheung, playing The Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar.


 

Melissa Dibble / courtesy of Melissa Dibble

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve brought you thoughts on the pandemic year from residents of central and northern Pennsylvania.  To end the series today, WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with Melissa Dibble, a travel nurse from McKean county, who worked in the heart of the crisis, at a New Jersey hospital.

ALLEN:  Why did you decide to go from the relative safety of McKean county into practically the epicenter of the COVID crisis in New Jersey?

Jared Conti / courtesy of Jared Conti

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of this past pandemic year. For today’s story, we spoke with the manager of a Lock Haven coffee house who says the community rallied to support local businesses.

“I am a husband of one, a father of two, and I manage a coffee shop: Avenue 209 in Lock Haven,” said Jared Conti.

He is also a singer and lyricist with a local band. And he’s a writer.  

“I am mainly a poet,” Conti said. "I’m at work on a long-form post-apocalyptic ballad.”

Linda Mantz / courtesy of the artist

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of the past pandemic year. For today’s story, WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with a Milesburg resident who teaches yoga for addiction recovery. She talks about the effect of the pandemic on the recovery community.

“I’m in what I would call long-term recovery now,” Linda Mantz said. “But I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.”

Mantz of is retired from Penn State, where she taught Human Development and worked as a counselor.

“I am grateful to be celebrating over 30 years of recovery this year,” she said.

Jim Welsh / courtesy of Jim Welsh

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of this past year for our series, Pandemic, Year One. For today’s story, WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with a bicycle mechanic from State College who was lost his job due to COVID-19, then started his own business.

“I’ve always had a way with bicycles and a love for mechanical things. You know, take them apart, figure out how they work, that kind of thing.”

Jim Welsh of State College said he’s been working as a bicycle mechanic since he was about 14 years old.  He enjoys riding, too, around local trials.

Mary Petrak (selfie) / courtesy of Mary Petrak

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of this past year for our series, Pandemic, Year One.  For today’s story, WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with a retired teacher from Hollidaysburg.  She lost her husband just before the pandemic began.

“He was just a guy with a big smile that lit up the room,” Mary Petrak said. “He was really good at listening to people’s stories.  Also a good storyteller.”

Petrak’s husband, Dave, died five months before the pandemic started.  They had been married for 43 years.

Gary Abdullah / courtesy of Gary Abdullah

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of the pandemic. WPSU’s Kristine Allen brings us their stories for our series, Pandemic, Year One. For today’s story, she spoke with a Penn State retiree, an elder at his church, who’s helping to keep the congregation connected.

Gary Abdullah of State College has been very careful to avoid catching COVID-19.

“I wear rubber gloves everyplace I go nowadays,” he says. “Everybody’s got a mask.”

In the past year, he says, the pandemic has changed some of his habits.

courtesy of Laurie Barrett / Mel Thrush Photography

We asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of this past pandemic year. WPSU’s Kristine Allen brings us their stories for our series, Pandemic, Year One. For today’s story, she talked with speech language pathologist who had a stressful year but found comfort in creativity.

“Honestly, for about a solid year my eye was twitching,” said Laurie Barrett, with a laugh. “You know, just stress, being a working parent of teenagers involved with extracurricular activities.”

courtesy of Katy Stager

In recent weeks, we’ve asked WPSU listeners to share their experience of this past pandemic year. WPSU’s Kristine Allen brings us their stories.  This is the first installment of our series, “Pandemic: Year One.”  Today she talks with a mother of four who has been trying to keep her family safe while dealing with social isolation and trying to stay positive.

“When we were looking back, we kind of referred to that week, our last vacation, as the week the world stopped.”

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a suite from “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland, from the 2018 Penn’s Woods Music Festival; a song titled “The Snow,” by Sir. Edward Elgar, performed by the Oriana Singers; the Piano Concerto No.

Noah Fortson / NPR

President Biden is giving the first prime-time address of his presidency to mark one year of the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Congress passed a massive relief package. More than 500,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program showcasing performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Penn State faculty cellist Kim Cook with pianist Svetlana Rodionova performing “Vocalise” by Sergei Rachmaninoff; Penn State’s Essence of Joy singing “Listen to the Lambs” by R. Nathaniel Dett, with soprano soloist Chloe Braden;  and the Symphony No. 1 in C by George Bizet conducted by Gerardo Edelstein at the 2016 Penns Woods Music Festival.

courtesy of Fred Guttenberg

Fred Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed on Valentine's Day in 2008 during a mass shooting at her high school in Parkland, Florida. Guttenberg is now an activist against gun violence.

Barry Reeger / Associated Press

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties.

Members of Phil’s “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see whether he would see his shadow or not.

James Palmer / Associated Press

WPSU-FM will celebrate Black History Month with a series of special programs airing during the month of February, highlighting African American history and culture.  Here's the list:

Caroline Amenabar/NPR; GPA Photo Archive/Flickr; Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being sworn in as the president and vice president of the United States. The inauguration is scheduled to begin at 11:00am on January 20th. Watch the ceremony, inaugural address and other celebratory events throughout the day.

This month, we’ll hear an instrumental suite from the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Christoph Gluck, played by the Penns Woods Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein; The Nordic Suite by Barbara York, played by Velvet Brown, tuba; Mark Lusk, trombone; and pianist Kathy Guttuso Kathy Gattuso-Cinatl;  and “The Pines of Rome,” by Ottorino Respighi, played by the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, led by assistant conductor, Benjamin Firer.

NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up a resolution that would call on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and take over President Trump's duties. The effort comes as the House is also pursuing a second impeachment against the president over the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. The proceedings are scheduled to being this evening at 6:00. Watch the House proceedings live here.

Matt Slocum / Associated Press

A major winter storm is bringing heavy snow and sleet to Pennsylvania. Winter storm warnings continue through Thursday morning for most of the state.

"The worst of the storm is actually going to be Wednesday night into early Thursday morning," said Marisa Ferger, a meteorologist at Penn State. "It’s going to make for some very dangerous travel. So if you do have to drive, I would suggest doing it earlier in the day because it is going to be falling very fast and very hard."

This month, we hear the Penn State Glee Club, led by Christopher Kiver, in music by by German Renaissance composer Hans Leo Hassler; Penn State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble playing a fantasia and fugue by Bach, arranged by Sir Edward Elgar; and the Penns Woods Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F, known as his “Pastoral” symphony.

WPSU

Here's a list of holiday music and specials coming your way this month on WPSU-FM:

Anette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President-elect Joe Biden is introducing key members of his incoming economic team. The nominees and appointees include former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and others who worked in earlier Democratic administrations. The announcement is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Watch the event live below:

This month, we’ll hear an instrumental suite from the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Christoph Gluck; Penn state guitarist Jonathan Gangi playing a sonatina by Jorge Morel; The Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein playing the “Siegfried Idyll” by Richard Wagner; and the Penn State Symphonic Band playing “Four French Songs and Dances of the Sixteenth Century” by Robert Hanson.

Sam Davey / courtesy of Centre Film Festival

The Centre Film Festival is happening this weekend. It was held at the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg last year. But this year, because of the pandemic, it’s coming to a living room near you.

 

“So we’re in our second year, and obviously we hope to continue in person next year,” says Pearl Gluck, who teaches film in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. She’s co-founder of the Centre Film Festival. 

 

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