Classical Music Comes Alive this Saturday on the Hilltown Family Variety Show

Classical Music Comes Alive
Hilltown Family Variety Show this Weekend

The Hilltown Families Variety Show presents Guest DJs Bonnie Ward Simon and Stephen Simon, the husband-and-wife team behind Maestro Classics, this weekend! Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM (Northampton, MA) on Saturday, March 3rd from 9-10am & Sunday, March 4th from 7-8am. or anytime to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast.

Bonnie Ward Simon and Stephen Simon, the husband-and-wife team behind Maestro Classics, winner of over 50 prestigious awards for its Stories In Music CD series, will serve as guest program hosts for a special “Stories in Music with the Creators of Maestro Classics” radio broadcast of Hilltown Family Variety Show on Northampton radio station 103.3FM WXOJ-LP (Valley Free Radio) on Saturday, March 3 from 9-10am and Sunday, March 4 from 7-8am. Hilltown Family Variety Show programs are also available as podcast and posted immediate following their broadcast here on

With a treasure trove of music and stories, Bonnie and Stephen Simon will take listeners on a magical journey on their Hilltown Family Variety Show segment, with offerings from luminaries like Rossini, Tchaikovsky, and Handel performed by a variety of ensembles ranging from the London Philharmonic Orchestra to the Michigan State University Marching Band, with an electro-pop dance remix of music from Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale thrown in! The program kicks off in rousing fashion with the New York Philharmonic blazing through Rossini’s William Tell Overture, then downshifts to an elegant performance by the Kirov Orchestra of a selection from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker before Arthur Fiedler takes the field, conducting John Philip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Other highlights include excerpts from Peter and the Wolf, a bit of original Dixieland jazz, and even the complete Maestro Classics story-with-music of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, familiar to listeners from the Disney movie Fantasia. Throughout the program, Bonnie and Stephen Simon interweave their special brand of friendly, informative narrative, making for a truly memorable hour of family radio listening.

A complete playlist and podcast available immediately following Saturday’s broadcast here at


Maestro Classic began in 2004 as an outgrowth of over a decade of sold-out Stories and Music family concerts at The Kennedy Center with the Washington Chamber Symphony, for which Stephen Simon served as music director and Bonnie Ward Simon as executive director. Experience convinced the Simons that if you educated as you entertained, developed sophisticated strategies that sparked the interest of parents as well as children, and offered only the finest musical performances, all children could develop an appreciation of symphonic music.

Stephen Simon, co-creator with Bonnie Ward Simon of the Maestro Classics Stories in Music™ series of CDs, is one of the most respected symphony conductors in the United States. For 25 years he brought creative programming to The Kennedy Center as music director of the Washington Chamber Symphony. Maestro Simon has been critically acclaimed for such innovations as presenting Beethoven Symphonies performed by an appropriately sized orchestra and for programming new compositions in a manner that allows audiences to conclude that not all contemporary works are painful! He also labored to resurrect forgotten musical gems by composers such as Clementi and Voricek, the “Czech Mozart.” During those years, he teamed with Bonnie Ward Simon to create extremely successful multi-generational programming for young people and their families.

Bonnie Ward Simon is president of Maestro Classics and executive producer/creative director for Stories in Music. From 1989-1998, she was the executive director of the Washington Chamber Symphony, the resident chamber orchestra at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. An authority in the field of children’s music education, she has served as an advisor to Scholastic Publications and is an internationally published writer in the fields of music and children.

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