Classical IPR in Concert: A Sewell Soiree

May 13, 2020

Inspired by the popularity of Kate's recent Singalong Soiree, members of the Classical IPR staff will be producing their own soirees in the coming weeks.

This week, IPR's music director Amanda Sewell celebrates her father's life and legacy with some of his favorite music and recipes.

Listen to the entire episode below, and scroll down for the recipes and playlist.

Amanda's father passed away in May 2019 from complications of frontotemporal dementia. Click here to read more about frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. 

Chocolate eclair cake


1 box graham crackers

2 3-oz packages of instant French vanilla pudding

3 cups milk

1 8-oz tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 16-oz can of chocolate frosting


1. Mix pudding, milk and whipped topping until fluffy.

2. Butter a 9x13 pan and line with graham crackers.

3. Cover the crackers with half the pudding mixture. Add another layer of crackers and the rest of the pudding mixture. Cover with a final layer of crackers.

4. Frost the top layer of graham crackers with chocolate frosting.

5. Refrigerate overnight for best results!

Amanda Sewell's father Dennis, ca. 1968

Peanut butter pie


1 baked pie crust (preferably the flaky kind, but graham cracker will also work)

4 cups milk, divided

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

3 Tbs butter

2/3 cup white sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1 8-oz tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed


1. Mix cornstarch, salt, 1 cup of milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside.

2. Heat 3 cups of milk, butter and sugar until scalding. Stir constantly! 

3. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk mixture. Whisk constantly. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat  before it starts to boil. Put plastic wrap over the mixture to prevent a skin. Chill at least an hour or until the pudding sets up.

4. Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter with a fork until small crumbs form.

5. Put half the crumb mixture in the pie crust. Pour chilled pudding mixture over the crumbs. Put the remaining crumbs on top of the pudding. Cover everything with whipped topping.

Optional: reserve some of the peanut butter crumbs to put on top of the whipped topping.

Refrigerate until serving.

Amanda Sewell and parents in 2013


"Mack the Knife" (Bobby Darin)

"If I Were a Rich Man" (Zero Mostel)

Leroy Anderson, "Bugler's Holiday" and "Trumpeter's Lullaby" (Boston Pops Orchestra)

Peggy Lee, "On the Sunny Side of the Street"

Elvis Presley, "Crying"

"The Tonight Show" theme and "Begin the Beguine" (Doc Severinsen)

"Mrs. Robinson," "The Sound of Silence," "Scarborough Fair" (Simon and Garfunkel)

Selections from the "Little Mary Sunshine" original Broadway cast album recording

"Only the Lonely," "Oh, Pretty Woman," "Crying" (Roy Orbison)

"A Taste of Honey," "Lollipops and Roses," "Whipped Cream" (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass)

"Imagine" (John Lennon)

"What a Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong)

"Stand by Me" (Ben E. King)