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Instrumental Invasion to air weekly on WCWP! March 30, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology.
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Wednesday night will mark the beginning of my first weekly stint at WCWP since the Evening Jazz era a decade ago.

Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri began life on WCWP in 2015 as a new name for my annual Homecoming Weekend show. I’ve done two shows a year: a live one on Fridays and a prerecorded show early on Sunday mornings. The name Instrumental Invasion was recycled from my WGBB-AM show in the mid 2000s.

The closure of WCWP during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a call for alumni to create original programming to run while the station was entirely automated. After receiving the blessing of WCWP Director of Broadcasting Dan Cox, I planned out six shows to record. I’ve been recording since last Wednesday and will record the last of the initial six today.

Two days ago, Dan gave me a regular slot: Wednesdays from 9PM to 11PM for at least ten weeks. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity and I thank Dan very much for it.

Make plans to listen to WCWP every Wednesday night starting April 1. If you can receive the signal, you can listen on your radio at 88.1 FM. Otherwise, go to WCWP.org or the WCWP app for iOS and Android.

In case you’re wondering, here’s my setup:

I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 XLR condenser mic with a compatible windscreen by Whisperteknik. (If that windscreen is unavailable, get one by VocalBeat instead.) The mic is connected to a Koolertron shock mount which attaches to a Neewer boom scissor arm stand. A six-foot AmazonBasics XLR male to female cable runs to a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 USB interface. I’d been using Adobe Audition 3.0 for 12 years, but it does not take kindly to USB, regularly freezing while recording. Adobe Audition 2020 does not have that problem. I subscribed to the software early in the recording process. My shows are recorded in multi-track sessions. Airchecks are recorded and music and liners are added. The duration of an aircheck depends on how much time is left in a segment or to the next song’s post. Audition 2020 lets you record files up to 48 kHz and 32 bits, but I stick with 44.1 and 16.

Guest reading at my old elementary school: Year 5 March 5, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Books, Education, Personal, Photography.
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Other guest reading posts: 20152016, 2017, 2018

Monday simultaneously marked my fifth National Read Across America Day at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport (where it’s known as Guest Reader Day), and the fifth anniversary of my debut.

I was unable to attend last year as I was in South Florida for my cousin’s wedding, but Meghan Carney allowed me to read to her class a month and a half later.

Unfortunately, Lori Downing, the teacher who first invited me to be a guest reader five years ago, couldn’t make it this year due to a death in the family. She graciously lent me her classroom as my home base for the day. I hung out there between reading sessions.

This year also had a theme: Be Kind, based on Pat Zietlow Miller’s book of the same name. The day began with an assembly for students in the cafetorium (cafeteria/auditorium), hosted by Gina Newcombe. There were separate assemblies for kindergarten through second grade, and for third and fourth graders. I attended the first assembly.

An introductory video featured messages from faculty – including principal Amanda Muldowney and assistant principal Amy Lederer – and slides, the latter of which can be seen here:

Next, Lisa Eisenberg presented a few scenarios based on book excerpts. They were acted out by Larraine Brown, Stephanie Huggard, George DiGiovanni, and Wendy Connelly. Each scenario had an unkind and kind version, prefaced by Mrs. Eisenberg.

After the first assembly, I returned to Mrs. Downing’s room. I hadn’t received the schedule yet, so I didn’t know who I’d be reading to or when. Mrs. Huggard provided the schedule once the second assembly was over.

In the next five hours, I read ten books to six classes (denoted in parentheses), mostly by Dr. Seuss:

Fox in Socks, my last book of the day, was quite a workout. It was an epic, riddled with tongue twisters.

The three non-Dr. Seuss books were:

There was mutual admiration. The students and faculty love me and I love them back. I’m grateful for the opportunity every year to act out the books I read, putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Thank you all.

Until next year, I’ll leave you with a collage of candid photos all the teachers took as I read: