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

Jason Marck / NPR

A new host took over on NPR’s 1A, starting today.  Jenn White most recently worked as a talk show and podcast host at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with White last week about getting her start in public radio, and why she thinks 1A is so important right now.  You can hear 1A weekdays at 1:00 p. m. on WPSU-FM.

Listen to the interview at the link below.

 

 

Emily Reddy / WPSU

 

 

In some parts of central and northern Pennsylvania, arts festivals are a summer tradition. But 2020 has been a tough year for festivals. As the COVID-19 pandemic took shape, many such events were canceled.

 

Rick Bryant, director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, estimates that 99% of arts festivals around the country are canceled this summer.  

 

Ernie Chamberlain

 WPSU asked you, our listeners, to tell us how you were getting along during the pandemic lockdown. Here are some of the ways you’ve been getting through it.

Evie Madison of Altoona is pastor of Wehnwood United Methodist Church in Altoona. She was busy becoming tech savvy early on in the pandemic.  She learned to record and edit video so she could bring Sunday services to her shut in congregation.

John Davis / Speaking Grief

Speaking Grief is a multi-platform project that aims to create a more grief-aware society. The public television documentary, Speaking Grief, premieres Tuesday, May 5th at 8pm on WPSU-TV.  It will also air on public TV stations around the country starting this month.

Yolanda Chiodo

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the residents of Bradford sprang into action early.  A busy Bradford Facebook group is connecting volunteer helpers with those in need.

Emily Reddy / WPSU

For the first time in its 54-year history, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College won’t take place this year.

“This is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my years in the workforce,” said Rick Bryant, executive director of the festival, which was slated to take place July 7-11. “We are trying to keep the health and safety of our artists, performers and audience members foremost in mind. We don’t want State College and the Centre region to become known as the petri dish.”

Listen to special coverage of the "big Tuesday" primaries Tuesday night, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. on WPSU-FM, and follow NPR's live coverage of the 2020 primaries, including results and analysis.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential hopefuls are on stage in South Carolina ahead of that state’s primary. The candidates’ battle follows Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses. Follow NPR’s live fact checks and analysis of their remarks.

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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 Corsaire Overture by Hector Berlioz, played by the Penn State Philharmonic, led by Gerardo Edelstein; the Brahms Violin Sonata in D minor played by violinist James Lyon & pianist Timothy Shafer of the Penn State faculty; and Mozart’s “Haffner” symphony from the 2019 Penns Woods Music Festival.

 

 

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 by Franz Schubert: 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.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Six Democratic presidential candidates are debating in Iowa on Tuesday, less than three weeks from the caucuses there. NPR reporters are providing background and analysis of the candidates' remarks in real-time.

The New Yorker Radio Hour / WNYC

WPSU-FM is thrilled to announce that on Saturday, February 1, we’ll bring some outstanding new programs to our weekend schedule.  Below, you’ll find descriptions of the new shows, and a preview of the schedule.

Travel with Rick Steves

Saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m.

Public television’s esteemed travel guru comes to public radio, with a wealth of experience, great stories, and practical advice to help make your next vacation simply amazing.

The New Yorker Radio Hour 

Natasha and Jon Smith in front of their Christmas Tree, holding a photo of Natasha and Deseray Smith.
Kristine Allen / WPSU

The holiday season can be a time for joyful family gatherings. But I recently spoke with a father and daughter in Huntingdon who are struggling with loss this year. This story is part of WPSU’s “Speaking Grief” project.

Two energetic little schnauzers greet me at the door as I arrive at Jon Smith’s house in Huntingdon.

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 Penns Woods Music Festival concert conducted by Christopher Kiver, director of choral activities at Penn State.

American Public Media

WPSU-FM has plenty of holiday specials in store for you for Hanukkah, Chrsitmas & New Year's Eve.  Here's a complete list.  Happy Holidays!

Associated Press

This Saturday night, December 7, some local vocalists and the Zeropoint Big Band will pay tribute to a legendary jazz and pop artist from the mid 20th century. They’ll cover songs made famous by Nat King Cole at The State Theatre in State College.

(SOUNDBITE OF “THE CHRISTMAS SONG”)

“Nat King Cole is one of the most beloved entertainers of the last century,” says Rick Hirsch.  He plays saxphone with the Zeropoint Big Band, and he’s organizing a concert in tribute to Cole.  

Associated Press

The House Judiciary Committee is holding its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry, focused on constitutional grounds for impeachment. The Judiciary Committee is tasked with drafting potential articles of impeachment against President Trump. Watch the hearing live.

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 the “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” by Maurice Ravel; Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony, No. 96 in D, from a 2019 Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra concert; and Brahms Violin Sonata in A major played by violinist James Lyon and pianist Timothy Shafer.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

The #HereToo project is back at Penn State, University Park for performances this Thursday and Friday, November 14 & 15, 2019.  Here is a story we did during the project's last visit, back in January 2019:

Lisa Marie Mazzucco / courtesy of Mr. Perlman

World famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman will pay a visit to Penn State, University Park on Thursday evening, November 14. He'll talk about his life, share some photos and video, and play music with pianist Rohan da Silva in a progarm called "An Evening with Itzhak Perlman." WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with him by phone about his career and his upcoming performance.

You'll find more information on Perlman's performance here.

TRANSCRIPTION: 

Associated Press

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding open hearings in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. All hearings will be streamed through this video player as they are live.

Liz Linder / courtesy of The Silkroad Ensemble

The Silkroad Ensemble, a diverse group of musicians from around the world, will give a concert Tuesday night on Penn State’s University Park campus. The group was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1999.

“There were 60 musicians,” says Silkroad’s co-artistic director, Nicholas Cord.  “We premiered 15 new pieces. A beautiful cacophony is the best way I could describe it.“

“Silkroad was Yo-Yo’s brainchild in a lot of ways. And I think Yo-Yo had always had an idea in his life to do something of this magnitude.”
 

Associated Press

To celebrate Halloween, we have a ghost story for you, told to WPSU back in 2015.  It's a firsthand account of strange phenomena at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona, which is rumored to be haunted. Marlene Liszka is a retired professor from Penn State Altoona who does technical work for Altoona Community Theatre. She spoke with WPSU’s Kristine Allen  about what she saw and heard at the Mishler Theatre.

To hear other ghost stories, including more from the Mishler, and a Halloween soundscape of eerie music, listen to Fright Night, tonight from 8:00 p.m. to midnight on WPSU-FM.  

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting to formalize its ongoing impeachment inquiry. The resolution before lawmakers outlines the next steps in their investigation. Watch the debate and vote on the House floor live.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month: the Mass in C Minor by Mozart, featuring soprano Sarah Shafer; soprano Lisa Rogali; tenor David Schmiech, and bass Jared Stufft, with the Penn State Concert Choir (prepared by Christopher Kiver) and the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted 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 the Penn State Philharmonic playing two Slavonic Dances by Antonin Dvorak; musicians from the Penn’s Woods Music Festival playing some of the Eight Pieces for English Horn, Clarinet & Piano by Max Bruch; and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F by Dmitri Shostakovich with pianist Philip Edward Fisher, conductor Gerardo Edelstein and the Penn’s Woods Music Festival Orchestra.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Student activists around the globe skipped school on Friday, September 20 to call for action on the issue of climate change.

In State College, a couple hundred activists of all ages participated, including many students.  They gathered at the Allen Street gates and marched to the steps of Penn State's Old Main.  Many of them held homemade signs with slogans like "Save the Earth," "Unite behind science," and "There is no planet B."

Ken Baxter

Ken Baxter is a Central Pennsylvania singer/songwriter, originally from Boston. He lost his son, Alex, to suicide years ago. On Saturday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m, he’ll play a concert called "The Philosophy of Hope," at the State Theatre in State College to raise funds for the Jana Marie Foundation, a local group that works on suicide prevention.  Joining him on stage for the concert will be his other son, Nick Baxter, who’s a music producer in Hollywood. Ken Baxter talks about suicide, life lessons, and moving forward.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Last fall, Altoona Community Theatre lost their long-time executive director to a sudden illness. Their new theatre season begins September 19-22, with a production of Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers,” at Altoona’s Mishler Theatre. It’s an emotional time for the theatre group, as they remember an old friend, and welcome a new leader.

Steve Helsel was, for decades, the first and only executive director of Altoona Community Theatre, also known as “ACT.”  Members of the theatre speak of him as a leader, a whirlwind of creativity, and a good friend to everyone.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

September's Democratic presidential debate has been narrowed to one night only, as more candidates have called it quits altogether.

Ten candidates are on stage for three-hour event hosted by ABC News and Univision, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. It's the third debate of the campaign and the first time that former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are all together.

Who will be the main target, what does it mean and what do the candidates stand for? Follow NPR Politics reporters for live analysis and fact checks.

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