Two New Voices Join SLSO Live Concert Broadcasts in 21/22 Season
Maria A. Ellis and Alicia Revé Like are drawn to storytelling.
Ellis draws parallels between J.S. Bach and Beyoncé as a music educator, helping her students understand musical concepts using music they already know. Revé Like is an actor, singer, songwriter, and unicorn—a term she uses to describe her storytelling endeavors that don’t neatly fit another description.
Both Ellis and Revé Like have a palpable love for and deep emotional connection to orchestral music. Starting September 25, they will join SLSO Creative Partner Tim Munro as co-hosts of the weekly live broadcasts of Saturday night concerts airing on 90.7 KWMU St. Louis Public Radio. Each will co-host half of the 23 live concerts during the 2021/2022 season.
Both have roots in church choirs and grew up listening to a variety of music from gospel to funk to jazz before studying music at the collegiate level. As co-hosts of the radio broadcasts, they look forward to telling the stories of the SLSO and the artists who perform with the orchestra.
For Ellis, orchestral music conjures images and emotions unique to each listener.
“I love sitting in the audience and creating narratives to what the music is saying to me,” she said.
Similarly, Revé Like said she appreciates how orchestral music impacts people differently.
“The coolest thing to me is how many ways you can use music to convey a message,” she said.
The new co-hosts agree: they are eager to talk about how orchestral music relates to everyone’s life experiences.
Creative Partner of the SLSO since 2018, Munro returns for his third season hosting live broadcasts.
“Maria and Alicia are both amazing artists, passionate communicators, and just all-around lovely people,” he said. “I can’t wait to get in the chair next to them, to share the SLSO’s incredible music-making with its audience in the region and around the world.”
Both Ellis and Revé Like have relationships with the SLSO.
Revé Like narrated SLSO SoundLab, the SLSO’s video and activity program for classrooms and homes launched in late 2020. So far, SLSO SoundLab has reached more than 33,000 students across the country. The series combines STEAM concepts and social-emotional learning through a four-part series that explores the intersection of science, technology, and music.
“I call it sneaky educational,” she said. “You’re teaching young people who don’t know they’re being taught.”
Ellis is a former arts fellow with the SLSO. “I have loved the SLSO since I was a little girl,” she said.
She currently hosts the Bach and Beyoncé radio show on Classic 107 (107.3 FM), which aims to demystify classical music and famous composers including Beethoven and Mozart.
The show developed from a lesson she taught high school freshmen. They challenged Ellis to prove how classical music is relevant to them. She rose to the challenge, creating a list of rappers and pop music artists—music the students listened to—that draw inspiration from classical music.
“Everybody is sampling classical music. You can love a lot of different genres,” she said. “For me, it’s important as an educator to show my students that the music they listen to is valued.”
Radio broadcasts of SLSO concerts reach an estimated 250,000 people each season. For Revé Like, it’s that access to orchestral music that is invaluable.
“We’re opening the door to people who may have never thought classical music is cool,” she said.