Sonya Henderson, HBO's "Girls", Rainn Wilson on Soul Pancake, and Peter Sykes on Triad Arts Weekend
Today on the show we’ll explore the world of an international recording artist and a professional basketball player. Spoiler alert: she’s the same person! Then Mary Dalton gets girly Behind the Scenes with an insider’s look at HBO’s hit series “Girls”. Bethany Chafin is here to chew on life’s big questions with Soul Pancake’s Rainn Wilson. You may know him as the ever nerdy and sometimes lovable Dwight Schrute from The Office, but Rainn’s real personality comes out on his website Soul Pancake where the search is on for what it means to be human. And speaking of being human, few things speak to the human condition better than the arts. So when NASA sent off the Voyager to contact life elsewhere in the universe, they included a golden record with (among other things) music from around the world. Two of those hot tracks on the Voyager Golden Record were by Johann Sebastian Bach. Today on the show keyboard artist Peter Sykes fills us in on what made J.S. Bach’s music the bee’s knees. And, don’t forget Bach’s musical son C.P.E. It’s his 300th birthday celebration at Old Salem.
Segment 1: Sonya Henderson
Sonya E. Henderson’s path to becoming an independent international recording, performing and songwriting artist is a long and very unique one. The Winston-Salem native first exploded on the scene in her early teens as a dominant force on the North Forsyth High School women’s basketball team. She later went on to become one of the first African American women to be offered a full basketball scholarship to Wake Forest University where she received her B.A. in Mass Communications & Theatre Arts.
The rest of Sonya’s story is a pretty wild ride. She dropped by her old alma mater to share it with us.
We sample from her new CD “Dimensions of Love [Xtra]”. Sonya is involved with non-profit organizations that support anti-bullying, and those suffering from mental illness. She’s begun her own non-profit called “Never Stop Dreaming INC”, to mentor young people and help develop their own inherent gifts.
Segment 2: HBO's "Girls" and Rainn Wilson Talks Soul Pancake
Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton
Read more about WFU Professor of Communication, Film Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Mary Dalton's thoughts on media.
Rainn Wilson and Soul Pancake
When you mention Rainn Wilson, most people probably think of the Office.
For nine seasons, Wilson played the quirky and eccentric but lovable Dwight Schrute on NBC’s hit show. What you might not know, is that in 2008, Wilson along with friends Devon Gundry and Joshua Homnick created a website and media company called Soul Pancake. The site engages users on issues of art, philosophy, and spirituality among others. Their tag line is “Chew on Life’s Big Questions”.
At Soul Pancake.com you’ll find a motivational 9-year-old Kid President and a web series called the Science of Happiness that explores concepts like gratitude and love. You can also discover what happens when strangers get in a makeshift ball pit on the side of the street and discover what they have in common. The website also includes interactive challenges and thought-provoking conversations on what it means to be human.
Rainn is enthusiastic about sharing the mission and story behind Soul Pancake, and he recently made an appearance at Wake Forest University to discuss the project. Bethany Chafin spoke with him by phone after the event.
Segment 3: Peter Sykes
“Compelling, moving, magnificent, revelatory, bold, imaginative, and amazingly accurate.” Just some of the adjectives used to describe one of today’s most distinguished and versatile keyboard artists: Peter Sykes. He’s Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Historical Performance Department at Boston University, Director of Music at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, and his bestselling recording of Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets (his own transcription) was named “Best of 1996” by Audio Review. He’ll be part of a dual celebration/recital: the 300th birthday of Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, and the 10th anniversary of one of the Triad’s most celebrated instruments: The 1800 David Tannenberg Organ at Old Salem. The largest surviving example of his work was meticulously restored in 2004.
On Friday, March 14th at 7:30 PM he’ll perform a recital of CPE and JS Bach, Dan Locklair and more in the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor’s Center. It’s CPE’s 300th birthday, the David Tannenberg Organ at Old Salem (originally built for Home Moravian Church in 1800) celebrates its 10th year post-restoration, and there’ll be a reception with Peter after the concert.