Kate Botello

Music Host and Producer

Kate comes to Northern Michigan via New York City, where she was a freelance actor, singer and playwright, appearing Off-Broadway as Judy Garland in the underground hit, Christmas with the Crawfords. She wrote and starred in several Judy Garland-themed productions, including Judy’s Christmas Garland and Judy Garland and Uninvited Company -- for which she was nominated for a Nightlife Award and won a Backstage Bistro award.

Before her time in New York, Kate was one of the founding on-air personalities for ZDTV, a national television network (later to become TechTV). There, she hosted "The Screen Savers," a live daily call-in show co-starring tech guru Leo Laporte, as well as "Extended Play," a show about videogames and the gaming industry with cohost Adam Sessler. She also puppeteered and provided the voice for Tilde, the network’s "virtual host" - work for which she won an Emmy Award.

Kate Botello has lived in Traverse City, Michigan since 2005, and is delighted by the huge amount of talent and art available to people in our area. She directed and starred in many productions for the Old Town Playhouse and Young Company, and led the OTP's Summer Performing Arts Camp for four years. Kate has even had a chance to make a few dreams come true, including hosting live "Sing-a-Long" events at the State Theatre, narrating stories with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and serving as the official "Word Pronouncer" for the Traverse City County and Regional Spelling Bees. 

Kate brings a lifetime love of classical music to IPR, and is thrilled by discoveries of beautiful pieces, new and old, to share with you.

Ways to Connect

It's the Kids Commute Story Challenge! Listen to music, and write us a story or draw us a picture!
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

Hi Kids Commuters! We’re always talking about musical imagery on Kids Commute, and we’re issuing a challenge to you. See that piece of music there on the page? The Kids Commute team thought it would be fun if you told us a story to go with it! It can be about whatever your imagination conjures up, but it can’t take any longer to read aloud than the music itself, which is two minutes and eighteen seconds long. We’ll pick our favorite stories and bring them to life in a dramatic reading for the radio! If you don’t want to write a story, send us a picture and we’ll put it on our website!

This week on Classical IPR in Concert, we feature a recent performance of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra with piano soloist Ralph Votapek.  Kevin Rhodes conducts.

The concert is entitled "Beethoven Squared" and is comprised of three Beethoven works.

Classical IPR in Concert can be heard on Interlochen Public Radio on Fridays at 8 p.m. or Sundays at noon.

This concert was engineered by Jack Conners.

To hear this week's Classical IPR in Concert at any time, click below.


The world-renowned duo of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han are in Interlochen this week.

They’ve played for countless audiences for more than 30 years, formed the first musician-directed and internet-based classical recording company, were named Musical America’s Musicians of the Year and are the Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They will perform a concert tonight (February 4, 2020) in the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall.

Welcome to a new week on IPR's Kids Commute. This week starts out on Monday, January 20, which is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In his honor, we've put together Civil Rights Week, with history and music that celebrates his legacy.

In October of 2019, the Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony, Theatre Department and IPR joined forces for the "Kids Commute Circus Extravaganza."

Hundreds of people - and lots of kids! - joined Kate Botello and the performers in Corson Auditorium for a concert of mostly circus-themed music that focused on the lesson of how music expresses emotion.

Percussionist Ruyi Yuan is a junior at Interlochen Arts Academy, with a focus on the marimba.

She recently visited Studio A to perform the second movement of the Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra by Emmanuel Sejourne, with Ya-Ju Chuang at the piano.

Ruyi told IPR's Kate Botello about why she loves the marimba and about her fascinating storytelling technique for managing mallets.

Hear the full interview and performance below.  This Studio A broadcast was engineered by Michael Culler.

Happy Holidays and Merry Everything from the staff of Interlochen Public Radio! We've put together a program of our favorite holiday music to share with you.

Hear a wide variety music of chosen by many of our staffers - from reporters to music hosts to behind-the-scenes folks! From all of us: warmest of season's greetings to you and yours.

Tune in to Classical IPR on Tuesday, December 17th at 5 p.m. and Christmas Day at 4 p.m.

The special will also air on IPR News Radio on Christmas Day - watch this space for updates.

Listen any time below.

Happy Holidays to Kids Commuters, kids, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Meet your IPR Kids Commute team in person on Sunday, December 8! We'll be in the lobby of Lars Hockstad Auditorium in Traverse City before and after the Traverse Symphony Orchestra's "Home for the Holidays" concert.

We'll give away Kids Commute swag, and you can record your voice to introduce our show!

Interlochen Conductor of Choirs John Bragle and the IAA Chamber Singers recently created a special recording for our listeners for Thanksgiving Day. The Chamber Singers performed works by Brahms, Berger and Rutter. Tune in to Classical IPR Thanksgiving morning at 8:43, or listen any time at the link below.

The Chamber Singers performed three works:

Interlochen Arts Academy Organist Kat Jolliff began her studies as a piano major but wanted to expand her horizons a bit. She switched her major to organ performance for her senior year.

Kat recently performed a couple of pieces in the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall on the Interlochen Arts Academy campus, and we had a chance to speak with her about the music and her instrument.

Kat performed Marcel Dupré's prelude from the "Prelude and Fugue in G minor, Opus 7" and JS Bach's fugue from the "Prelude and Fugue in G minor."

Traverse City West High School is opening a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" on November 15. Director and choreographer Minda Nyquist and cast member Jack Rusinowski (Tevye) shared music and stories from the classic musical. For tickets to see "Fiddler" please click here.

Hear the full interview and music below.

Pieces included:

Traverse City Central High School is opening a production of "West Side Story" on Friday, November 8. Director Erin Peck and cast member Teddy Huff (A-Rab, Tony understudy) shared music from the iconic musical and talked about its relevance to teenagers today. For tickets, click here.

Hear the full interview with music below!

Music heard on today's program:  

It's Spooky Week on Kids Commute! Get ready for a week of weird and eerie music!
Sheila Sund / flickr.com/photos/sheila_sund/26335625522

Happy Halloween, Kids Commuters! We've got a whole week of spooky tunes coming your way - weird sounds of all shapes and sizes! Tune in to Classical IPR weekday mornings at 7:40, or listen any time at the links below.

We'll ask your our super-spooky Quizlet question on Friday!

The Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Company will present "Matilda the Musical" Nov. 15-22 in the Harvey Theatre. Click here for ticket information.

Director Gulshirin Dubash and actor Ethan Horgan (Miss Trunchbull) dropped by IPR to share some of the music of the show, as well as the philosophy behind the creation of the upcoming IAA production.

The Northland Players will put on a production of "Once Upon a Mattress" this weekend at the Cheboygan Opera House. The classic 1959 musical, at its time a star-maker for Carol Burnett, is based on the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea" with music by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer.

Cast member Jim Sturgill, who plays The Jester in the show, stopped by Classical IPR to share some music from the show and talk about communities coming together as a volunteer artistic force.

Hear the interview and music by clicking below!

Music chosen for this hour includes:

Seraph Brass is an all-female brass ensemble who performs all over the world. They'll play a concert in Corson Auditorium Thursday, October 17 along with the Interlochen Arts Academy Brass Ensemble. 

The ensemble visited Studio A to talk about their upcoming concert and their goals for working with the students.

Hear Seraph Brass perform the Prelude to the Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg and the full interview below.

The Cadillac Footliters are helping to put the community in a Halloween mood with their upcoming show "The Addams Family - A New Musical" by composer Andrew Lippa.

The musical is based on the classic television show and comic strips by Charles Addams.

Melissa Kendell, who plays family matriarch Morticia Addams, and the show's Assistant Director, Jen Reagan, spent half an hour with Classical IPR to share context and music from the upcoming production.

Click below to hear the interview and music.

This week on Classical IPR in Concert, we'll hear a performance by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor, Michigan. 

Conductor Libor Ondras and the GLCO present Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Overture, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 (featuring Angela Kim) and Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony.

Click below to hear the concert, or tune in to Classical IPR Friday night at 8 p.m. and Sunday at noon.

MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Thursday, July 11 2019
Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay Harbor

Kids Commute - William Tell Week!

Oct 4, 2019

Hey Kids Commuters - welcome to William Tell Week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. 

We’re doing something a little bit different this week. We’re listening to a big piece of music in smaller parts, On Friday, we’ll listen to the whole thing.

The William Tell Overture is one of the most recognizable overtures in classical music. A portion of it was most famously used as the introduction to the radio and television program, “The Lone Ranger.” But there’s much more to the overture than just that famous section.

Pianists Richard Gao and Wenbo Xing will perform tonight and tomorrow night as part of Interlochen Arts Academy’s interdisciplinary evening, Collage.

The two pianists visited Studio A to perform works of Chopin ("Etude in A minor Opus 25 No. 11") and Liszt ("Sounds in the Forest").

They told us a little bit about their interests outside the piano. They are both students of Michael Coonrod.

Hear the performances and interviews below.

Kids Commute - Sibling Week!

Sep 26, 2019

“MOM! Suzie won’t stop looking at me!” “DAD! Johnny is picking his nose!” Welcome back to Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. It’s Sibling Week!

All week long, we’ll take a look at famous musical siblings. We have a pair of sisters, a sister and a brother, twin brothers, regular brothers, and a pair of brothers with a whole lot of sisters all contained in this very special week on Kids Commute. The Kids Commute team has found recordings by these outstanding musical artists.

Dr. Richard A. White is a classical tubist known for his clear sound and stylistic flexibility. He is an alumnus of Indiana University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Besides teaching at the University of New Mexico, he is also a motivational speaker.

Dr. White visited IPR's Studio A to perform some nifty tuba work you've probably never heard before, and talk about his favorite - and least favorite - questions that people have about the tuba.

Kids Commute - School Anthem Week!

Sep 6, 2019

Hi Kids Commuters! Welcome to a brand new season of Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! The Kids Commute team is excited about all the fun things we have planned for our third season.

We have some very special guest hosts, and recordings of the Kids Commute theme played by very talented artists. This season is packed with interesting information to get you excited to learn more about music. 

Traverse City's Old Town Playhouse will soon open a production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." The play features many delightfully oddball characters, including the staunch Victorian Lady Augusta Bracknell, portrayed in this production by Betsy Willis.

Willis came to IPR's Studio B in character as Lady Bracknell to share some of that great lady's favorite music, interspersed with some firm Victorian opinions about edifying music, a fondness for German respectability and a general suspicion of all things French.

Soprano Lauren Fleming is about to be a senior at Traverse City Central High School. For two years running, she was named one of the top soloists in the state of Michigan and performed at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

Lauren, a musical theatre performer from a young age, stopped by Studio A to chat with IPR's Kate Botello about making the switch from theatre to opera. She performed two pieces: "Villanella" by Eva Dell'Acqua and "Ma rendi pur contento" by Vincenzo Bellini.

Hear the interview and performances below.

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