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

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.

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.

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.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Actor and playwright Charles Dumas has written a new play, to be performed in staged readings this weekend at Three Dots in State College. It tells the story of the police shooting of Osaze Osagie in March.

The title of Dumas’ play is “Osaze Remembering…” In excerpts from the prologue, read for us at WPSU by Charles Dumas and his wife, Jo Dumas, the audience is told up front that they’ll be exposed to various points of view on the death of Osaze Osagie.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear “Tunis” from “Escales” by Jacques Ibert, played by oboeist Timothy Hurtz and pianist Timothy Shafer; The Penn State Glee Club singing “She waks in beauty,” by Connor Koppin; And the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein in the Symphony No. 2 in C by Robert Schumann.   

Cumer Family / via AP

One of two mass shootings this weekend has claimed the life of a central Pennsylvania student. Nicholas Cumer, who was killed in the Dayton, Ohio shooting, was a graduate student at St. Francis University in Loretto. He completed his undergraduate degree at St. Francis, and was pursuing a graduate degree in the university’s Master of Cancer Care program

According to a statement from the president of St. Francis, Father Malachi Van Tassell, Cumer was in Dayton doing an internship with the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Tonight is the first of two Democratic debates this week.  It begins at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.  NPR reporters will liveblog the debate right hear, beginning at 8:00p.m.  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will share the debate stage for the first time tonight.  And because candidates were selected for each night by a random drawing, NPR reports, all of tonight's candidates are white.

Associated Press

Former special counsel Robert Meuller is testifying before the Senate Judiciary committee this morning.  Watch  live video of his remarks here.
 

Nancy VanLandingham

Saturday, July 20th is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

Nancy VanLandingham of Warrior’s Mark was 14 years old in 1969.

“To me, it felt like it was pretty much the most important thing that had happened in my lifetime,” VanLandingham said.

As she remembers it, everyone back then was focused on space travel.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

On Tuesday, July 16, the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium at Penn State invited the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. They held a rocket launch event at the Ag Progress Days sight in Pennsylvania Furnace.

With a drone buzzing overhead to film the event, they launched 24 model rockets at 9:32am – the exact time of the Apollo launch 50 years ago.

Min Xian / WPSU

Fifty years ago, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy Florida (now known Cape Canaveral), sending astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their way to the moon.

That morning, legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was in a Florida studio near the launch site bright and early. The Saturn V rocket stood next to the launch tower on the screen behind him.

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, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we hear some music inspired by heavenly bodies: "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

NPR

It's Night 2 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle. Ten more Democratic presidential candidates will face off live from Miami tonight at 9:00 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.  The other ten candidates who qualified for the debates met in Night 1 last night. When the debate starts tonight, follow NPR reporters' live analysis and fact checks of the candidates' remarks here.

Loading...

U.S.G.S

A minor earthquake hit Central Pennsylvania Wednesday night. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, struck at around 8:31 p.m. The epicenter was located in Juniata county, Pa., about 11 miles south/southwest of Mifflintown. Reports of mild shaking came in to the U.S.G.S website from Altoona to Lancaster, and from State College to Hagerstown, Md.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we have the Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 539 by Bach, played by the Pennsylvania Quintet; The Penn State Philharmonic, led by Gerardo Edelstein in the “Dances of Galanta” by Zoltan Kodaly; the song, “Spirit,” by Greg Simon, with a text by Walt Whitman, sung by The Penn State Glee Club; and the Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 78 by Johannes Brahms, played by PSU faculty members James Lyon, violin and Timothy Shafer, piano.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Rick Lombardo is the new is the Director of the School of Theatre at Penn State, hired last summer.

WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with Lombardo about bringing back the professional summer season of Penn State Centre Stage  in the summer of 2019 and about how his college pre-med plans were thwarted by theatre.  (Listen to the interview at the link above.)

You'll find more information on the Penn State Centre Stage summer season here.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

On opening day of Millheim’s outdoor farmers market, held under a pavilion on the grounds of the American Legion, Bill Callahan of Mifflinburg sold beef, pork and chickens. He is owner of a farm with the tongue-in-cheek name, “COW-a-HEN.”  He’s been farming for 38 years.

“And I’ve been doing the markets – farmers markets – for approximately 20 of those years,” Callahan said. He has seen the farmers market trend expand over the past couple of decades.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, the program is devoted to performances from the Penn’s Woods Music Festival: “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy; the “Carmen Fantasy” by Pablo de Sarasate, played by violinist Max Zorin and pianist Christophar Guzman, both of the Penn State faculty; and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D.

Judge Throws Out Spanier Conviction, Pa. Attorney General Will Appeal

Apr 30, 2019
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Updated Wednesday, 12:11pm

Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today he intends to appeal the judge's decision to overturn Spanier's conviction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out former Penn State President Graham Spanier's child-endangerment conviction, less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, issued a decision late Tuesday that gave state prosecutors three months to retry Spanier.

Pages